As we at Ministry Insights work to equip Christ-followers and ministries to build stronger relationships, we regularly emphasize healthy communications based on strengths. This excellent article points out four elements to consider in healthy communications in our churches.
It’s Not What I’m Saying – It’s What You’re Hearing
By THE UNSTUCK GROUP Thursday, October 15, 2015
A few months ago, the Unstuck team published a series of interviews on the Top 5 Most Common Core Issues we see in churches. We didn’t create the list from our opinions — it was aggregated from the core issues each church we serve has to identify when they go through our strategic planning process.
Communications was near the top of the list.
With all of the resources available to churches on how to preach better, use social media effectively, improve their websites and graphic design, etc., it could be surprising that so many churches struggle. But we’ve found something to be true that explains this struggle easily:
Most of the time, communication is a challenge because churches aren’t as clear on their mission, vision, and strategy as they think they are.
Without clarity around general ministry strategy, we build culture by accident and we struggle to prioritize messages.
Consider a few practical questions:
- What aspects of your church’s culture bother you or are counter to what you would like to see?You are likely inadvertently communicating acceptance or even promotion of this behavior through your systems (or lack thereof).
- How many announcements have you shared from stage and in your bulletin for the last four weeks? How many communicated core vision and values (who we are/where we’re going) vs. events (things to do)?What you talk about most appears most important to the average attendee. And if you communicate everything all the time, people eventually tune you out.
- How have you invested time in understanding how to connect with Millennials and adjusted the way you preach and communicate to reach them?It’s not just about methods, like adding media into the service or building a strong web presence. Millennials are asking different questions than the generations that preceded them. Your series may not be answering them. There’s plenty of research that can help you. But asking them is always a good start.
- When was the last time you asked an “outsider” — someone who does not attend your church — to visit a service and share their objective first impressions?Most of our bad communication is non-verbal.
Regardless of what we think we’re saying, the world is hearing something different than the Gospel, in many cases. We must get better.
Reprinted with permission.
More about Healthy Communication
2 Keys to Customizing Your Communication
Exercise: How Your Team Can Use Words to Build Up
Checklist for Communicating: How Do You Receive Information Best?