Every single week at your church someone is trying to inspire and motivate others to action. The most obvious example includes the Sunday morning sermon, but there are a lot of other examples too. For instance, it’s likely that your announcements are meant to inspire people to do something (like go to an event or sign up for a class); I hope your offering time motivates others to give too. Here’s the question of the week (perhaps of your career): How inspired are people to be devoted to God, serve in the church, help the poor, and be the men and women God has called them to be?
OK. Now that I’ve got your attention, I dare you to watch this 18 minute video from Ted.com. It’s more than worth your time and may very well change how you communicate with others. Author and speaker, Simon Sinek unpacks a powerful principle in a fresh way. Enjoy.
Whenever I have to speak to a group of people I try real hard to rehearse out loud when I’m by myself. I’ve never regretted doing it and have often regretted NOT doing it. If I’m the emcee and will be giving announcements, I practice out loud. If I’m going to be sharing communion on Sunday, I practice what I will say out loud first.
I know way too many people who don’t do this and a couple who refuse to do it. I’m not sure what the issue is. The point is to refine and clarify your message in such a way that people will hear and understand. Some of the best communicators of our time have been known to rehearse their message out loud. As an example, I’ve heard both Bill Hybels and Andy Stanley confess to this practice.
Last year at our staff retreat we watched this 10 minute video together as a staff and discussed the concepts and the ramifications of the ideas presented by Daniel Pink on the church environment. It was particularly relevant in relationship to the recruitment of leaders and volunteers for our church ministry. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I am pretty certain Daniel Pink is not a believer, though it’s possible I’m wrong. The presentation given here is meant for the world at large and was not specifically designed for the ‘Christian World’. Also, I am not suggesting I believe or wholeheartedly support everything Daniel says, though I find it interesting and very much worth considering.
Several years ago I purchased a book by Dr. Minirth called, A Brilliant Mind: Proven Ways to Increase Your Brainpower. Like you, I’d really like to be smarter. So I had a mild hope that this book might help. What I found astounded and disappointed me. The premise of the entire book is that you’ll be smarter when you increase your vocabulary. So the book is full of lists of words to learn, prefixes, roots of words, adjectives, verbs, etc. After a quick leaf through the book I set it down and chocked it off as not super relevant to me.
The idea kept coming back to me that perhaps Dr. Minirth really knew what he was talking about. Today, I can say I’m pretty sure he did. Language is powerful. Your words can be confusing, irrelevant, boring, disabling and offensive; or they can be inspiring, motivating, informative, equipping and empowering. Here’s a great example from Scripture of the power of words (emphasis mine):
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. John 4:39-41
So many times we can be guilty of just saying whatever comes to mind without thinking about what we are saying and how it is being said. This apply’s both inside and outside of the pulpit. When you work hard at communicating clearly and effectively, you are partnering with God to give the very best to those with whom you are talking to.
This 2 minute video illustrates this idea really well. Check it out.
What did you say?
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I have heard it said that your mission statements is too complicated if you can’t put it on a T-Shirt. Some organizations call it the “T-Shirt” test. This week’s Thursday Quote is from Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast located at northpoint.org/podcasts entitled “Stating Vision Simply“. In this 30 minute presentation you will be left with a very clear understanding of WHY your mission and vision statements MUST be simple. I highly recommend you take the time this week to listen to this presentation.
“If it’s not memorable, it’s not portable, it doesn’t roll off the tip of your tongue, it’s not easy to integrate into a conversation…. For vision to stick it’s got to be stated simply, simply, simply, simply. This is difficult and here’s part of the reason why – some of you will really struggle with this. In order to make your vision simple it can’t be complete. That means you’ve got to leave some stuff out. It’s not going to be theologically correct, because to make it theologically correct it’ll be too long. It’ll be accurate, but nobody’s going to know what it is. You’ve got to make the decision, do we want to make it portable and transferable and do we want to make it stick? Or do we want it to be theologically correct and accurately complete but nobody’s going to know what it is?” Andy Stanley
The last few weeks I’ve explored the idea of teams; specifically getting the right people on them. But what about leading teams? What would happen if hired a professional to lead your meetings. How would it look compared to how YOU lead them?