Category Archive: communication

Do You Practice?

 

Hey Friends,

We have all heard that practice makes perfect! That is partially true, but practice makes permanent. We all practice things that we think are important, like our golf game or driving skills. Do we practice what is most important? Do you practice your preaching and teaching? Think about it, preaching is probably more important than your drive distance! Most preachers and teachers do almost nothing to get better.

Jeremiah 48:10 says, “Cursed be the one that does the Lord’s work negligently…” Would you call it negligence to neglect improving your preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus? In his book, The Exceptional PresenterTimothy J. Koegel said: “No matter what your skill level-no matter what your presentation comfort level-you can become exceptional.” We can all get better, no matter your communicative ability. If you communicate the Word of God you should be striving to improve!

One way to improve is to watch yourself on video. Early on this is painful, but you will get used to it. Most people hate it so much that they quit after a few attempts. In a recent survey on how people view presentations, results showed 7% of effectiveness was due to words used and 93% was determined by voice and non-verbals. Your communicating can get better, big time, if you will work at it.

“If our non-verbal communication contradicts, rather than supports, our message, we can be confident, yet look nervous and tentative. We can be prepared, yet look woefully unprepared. We can be an expert, yet have the presence of a novice. We can be passionate, yet appear apathetic. We can be genuine, yet sound insincere.” Lee Iacocca said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get those ideas across, they don’t do anybody any good.”

Some of us believe that our preaching and teaching is so spiritual or that it should not even be discussed. Sad for the listeners, and even sadder for those who miss the message due to poor presentations!

I have a grammarian who helps me try to speak with proper English every week. Right doctrine and Word with poor grammar is ignored by the educated.

Let’s get better. Tomorrow I will list more ways to improve.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Imagine – A Great Word

Hey Friends,

We all are communicators in some form or fashion, so let me give you a great word to use. This word is great whether you’re talking to your kids or a mega-church. Imagine with me… This is a great word to use in casting vision or trying to help someone grow or just get it.

Imagine is so powerful because we have such vivid imaginations! This is the reason a movie is rarely as good as the book. When you read, your mind can create images that Hollywood and the animators couldn’t dream of. As you try to help people, getting them to imagine a better future is indispensable.

Dr. Martin Luther King did this in his “I have a dream speech.” He painted a picture of a better future for all Americans, regardless of color.

Imagining is a great way to help positive change in a life or an organization. It can be used in counseling a couple in a difficult marriage. Imagine with me…

Imagining helps us make difficult decisions or develop difficult disciplines. To someone who is overweight, imagine with me how good you’ll feel after you get healthy… Trying to get someone to develop a spiritual growth plan, imagine with me how much better you will know God. Think of the intimacy between you and the Holy Spirit.

The better picture we imagine can be the impetus for change. The vision can make us want to.

Imagine with me that you become a better communicator… Your marriage improves because you can clearly communicate your heart. Your boss gives you a raise because you clearly communicated your value to the company. Your small group grows because you better communicate the vision and the Word. Your church grows because you communicate His Word in a more effective way.

We could go on all day. Try using the word today and tell us how it works.

Love you,

Pastor Chris

 

Guest Blog from Terry duPont of Open Eyes Ministries

 

Hello  Friends,

Pastor Chris is on to something big.  It’s the art of communication that he has filled his blog with over the last little while.

As someone who has been making presentations and sharing leadership principles for over 30 years, I am always looking to improve my communication skills.  As a missionary in Central America for the last 11 years, I found I had to change and learn how to reach a different culture through exceptional communication.

The great book by Timothy Koegel, The Exceptional Presenter, shares some skills we all must master.  Here are three (3) examples:

  • The Power of Nonverbal Communication: Our position and posture, etc.  Remember people listen with their eyes and ears.
  • Understand Your Audience:  Owning the room and knowing where and to whom to direct your presentation.  Move around and keep things focused.
  • Using Visual Aids and the Dynamics of Voice:  How to set the pace and volume of your presentation.  How to plan your speech or sermon for maximum impact on your audience.

Great leaders are great communicators.  They inspire, motivate, teach, encourage and communicate the vision.

I pray that each one of us, no matter how experienced we are, will learn more about being an exceptional communicator and presenter.

God Bless,

Terry duPont, Director

Open Eyes Ministries (www.openeyes.org)

Central America

P.S. from Pastor Chris – God has used Terry and Arlene duPont and Open Eyes Ministries in a phenomenal way to reach thousands for Him all across Central America.  Please consider helping this fruitful ministry through prayer, monetary support or mission participation. I encourage you to go the their website shown above for more information.

 

Communication – Number One

Hey Friends,

I have been consuming books on communication lately. Next year, I am going to teach a class for our staff on communication. Something Frank Luntz said has stuck with me: “People will forget what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.” Most of us reading this blog handle the Word of God. We were taught that we hold the Truth, and that is so true. Most of our preparation and education focused just on teaching the Truth.

Connecting with the congregation or audience was not part of the process. We were to focus on the message and let God take care of the rest. He said, “My Word will not return void.” It is easy to “over spiritualize” or even become lazy in communicating Christ’s Truth. We can easily neglect trying to get better or closer to those we are speaking to. We, as Christian communicators, put all the responsibility on the hearer, not on the speaker. Bad move!

When we prepare sermons, lessons, or Bible studies do we ever consider how the message will be received or make people feel? If we want to continue to get to communicate to people, it is critical that we consider how we will make them feel. I am not talking about compromising the Gospel or the Word! Just considering how you say something. The Word says, “Speak the truth in love.”

As you teach, preach, and communicate, I want to challenge you to do the best you can.

  • Do you think you can get better?
  • What would it take for you to improve?
  • What would your first step look like in a plan and path of steady improvement?

If it is for Jesus, should it not be our best?

Just a thought,

Pastor Chris

 

Communication is Critical for Success!

Hey Friends,

We all can get better at communication, no matter how good we are. Better communication means better connecting, and that means every aspect of life improves. I’m reading a great book, Words that Work. In it, author Frank Luntz gives ten rules of effective language. I thought I would list them for you here: 

1. Simplicity. Use small words. Our goal is not to impress those who hear us but to communicate at a level so that they get it. 

2. Use short sentences. We live in a sound bite world and most miss the meaning in complex and compound sentences. Forget about run on sentences!

3. Credibility is as important as philosophy. Can people trust your words? 

4. Consistency matters.  

5. Novelty. Offer something new. We must be creative in how we say things. An old truth must sound new so people hear it. 

6. Sound and texture matter. How do people feel what you are saying?

7. Speak aspirationally. Your words should illicit a response. Are you motivational? 

8. Visualize. Speak so the hearers can see what you are trying to communicate. 

9. Ask a question. A question requires a response when a statement does not. 

10. Provide context and explain relevance. This is the why of the message and then you give the therefore. 

I speak for a living. I so want to improve my ability to communicate because as I do, more life change will transpire. What would happen in your life if you got better at communication? Your spouse? Your kids? Your coworkers? Your friends? 

Life will get better and you will be more successful if you can improve your ability to communicate to others. What is the next step for you in improving? Time to take it! 

Just a thought… 

Love ya, 

Pastor Chris

 

Connecting to Change Lives

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The Questions Every Communicator Needs to Ask

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How Can You Tell You’re Connecting?

Hey Friends,

Yesterday I recorded a video blog on connecting as the number one issue with communication. I gave a few signs that you are connecting. Let me list some more marks of connecting. This list can be found in John Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. I just started the book but this list is helpful in communication:

1. Extra Effort – People become willing  to go the extra mile.

2. Unsolicited Appreciation – They say positive things.

3. Unguarded Openness – They demonstrate trust.

4. Increased Communication – They express themselves more readily.

5. Enjoyable Experiences – They feel good about what they’re doing.

6. Emotional Bondedness – They display a connection on an emotional level.

7. Positive Energy – Their emotional “batteries” are charged by being together.

8. Growing Synergy – Their effectiveness is greater than the sum of the contributions.

9. Unconditional Love – They are accepting without reservation.

It doesn’t matter whether you are communicating to a small group or a mega-church, connection is critical if you want the content to change lives! Sadly, I have watched so many try to communicate who gave no concern about connection with their hearers. Far too many just worry about the content and forget connection. I have seen this happen with so many preachers.

Many work diligently in the preparation of the message and never work on connection. This is the reason I removed a large pulpit from the stage. A huge, heavy, wooden pulpit stands between the preacher and the people. We are called to give the message of life, therefore we need to remove any man-made barriers to accomplishing what the Lord wants for us to do.

Are you connecting? Do you prepare to connect? When you are speaking do you attempt to connect? Please do not miss this vital part of communicating.

Just a thought.

Love ya,

Pastor Chris

 

Communication to Connect

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Synergism and the Saints!

Hey Friends,

Love and unity are critical characteristics communicated and taught throughout the Cannon. As leaders, it is our job to try to get alignment in vision so we can see synergistic power in the ministries we lead. If we can communicate vision so that the entire body follows, the synergism we create will propel us forward. It is happening in culture against us, so why not use it to advance the Kingdom?

In Genesis 11:6, the Lord said: “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.” This was an evil group with evil motives and yet they were together, unified and synergistically empowered!

Just think, if we with the power of the Holy Spirit and with the same vision and unity work for God…what would be possible for us? All things! It is the job of the leader to clearly communicate a compelling vision that will motivate the groups we lead to charge together. Nothing could stop that kind of movement and momentum!

We must watch the work of the enemy, and his desire and delight is in dividing us. Our Lord said, “No kingdom divided against itself will stand.” I’m not talking about the whole of the Church –  just the one you lead, or maybe the group, ministry or organization you lead.  We must sharpen our skills at communicating such a clear vision that it is easy to follow and get behind.

Together we cannot be stopped!

That is how the Lord planned for His Church to charge. It is the job of the leader to lead the charge. If we move forward like this nothing can stop us. The world has yet to see a church moving in this power – all things would be possible for a church like this!

Just a thought.

Love,

Pastor Chris