A few months ago I wrote a post on doing things well and I guess this post could relate very much to that post. Today I’m going after how sometimes we just don’t communicate well with others. For example, when someone leaves a phone message for us, rather then calling them back in a few days we let it slip and then by the time we think of calling them back we scratch our heads and say “if it was that important they would have called me back already, so I don’t need to call them back.”
Maybe that’s not where you struggle….Maybe you had an event and half the kids found out about it and a few didn’t have a clue and some mom is not happy with you because they didn’t know about your event…Was this a preventable moment? Maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t…If it was preventable, what would you suggest?
I’m writing today based off of the Bible’s teachings that we are to be a people who
- – speak out of Love (1st Cor. 13)
- – speak the truth (Eph 4)
- – Go the extra mile to love people (The good Samaritan)
So don’t those teachings extend to how we relate to people when they call us and as we communicate with people in general? I’m thinking it does…I don’t want to beat anyone up who reads this and says, wow, I’ve been a failure. Actually, if anything, I’m hoping that as you consider this post that the opposite happens, that you are encouraged to communicate more effectively.
In college one of my professors almost beat it into our heads that if we wanted to communicate something to a large group of people that we needed to do it 7 times and 7 different ways. I’ve tried to run with that model as best I can. For me that means if I have something worth communicating, it goes out via an email list, via Facebook, in the bulletin, on PowerPoint slides, and in mailings. On the flip side, I’m also trying to be conscious that I don’t say too much. If I blanket people with info it becomes “white noise” and it just isn’t heard.
The other caution I’ll throw out is to be consistent with your content. Watch out that you don’t put ‘7 pm’ one place and ‘8 pm’ at another. You’ll confuse people and even lose credibility with them and for me, that’s really a big piece to this conversation.
Be encouraged to return phone calls and to communicate with folks as best as you can. The fruits of it will be that you’ll probably be taken more seriously, you’ll probably retain credibility, and you’ll hopefully be viewed as one who really wants to do ministry with a degree of excellence.
I have some more thoughts and if you want to talk any of this through with me or hear any other ideas I have, feel free to look me up. I am by no means the master of this.
Rev. Mark Johannesen is pastor at Word of Life Lutheran Brethren Church in LeSueur, Minnesota.