Make Sure Your Ministry Communication is Not One Way by Asking “What Are People Hearing?”

Effective communication is one the most valuable commodities in any organization. Excellent ideas or initiatives without a corresponding level of excellence in communication will never get off the ground.

Most leaders know this. Yet many companies and churches are still riddled with employees and members who aren’t getting the messages their leaders are trying to convey.

The reason is that most of us usually stick to the base line question, “what are we communicating.” This is necessary, but it is not enough.

Real leaders aren’t satisfied or content with, “what are we saying to our people?” They go a level deeper and ask the question, “what are our people hearing?” They take responsibility not only for the message they are sending, but the message that’s being received, or the way it’s being received.

This is what separates the master vision casters from the wannabes. A lot of people will use the copout, “well I told them that, they just weren’t listening.” This completely misses the point. The goal is not to deliver a message. Anybody, from the kid in the mail room to the executive in the corner suite can do that. The goal is to make sure the intended message was actually received, understood, and responded to.

Whether or not you said it won’t determine whether or not the instruction, encouragement, or correction was acted on. Whether or not they heard it, understood it, and are able to actualize it is what is going to make the difference.

This might mean you’ll have to reorganize your communication structures. Or you might have to find multiple ways to convey your message and keep communicating it well past the point you think it should have been accurately received.

It will require extra work and patience. But that is what the leader has to do. Your job is not done until your people are hearing the exact message you want them to hear.

As a leader, as a vision caster, make sure you’re always asking the question, “What are people hearing?”, not just what are we saying.

Real leaders and master vision casters are going to look at both sides of the same coin.

Read more from Steven here.

Download PDF

Tags: , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Communication >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Furtick

Steven Furtick

Pastor Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the New York Times Best Selling author of Crash the Chatterbox, Greater, and Sun Stand Still. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
I'm lost, to say the least! As a new pastor, taking over a newly started church I have read just about everything there is to learn what I can do to grow the church. I truly beleive that those attending our church are friendly and sincere. So that can't be the issue. I have read all the comments to this article and I feel that most churches will never have a fair chance! We are a VERY small church, so we don't have a children's church (yet). So if a family comes and gets upset that we don't have a children's church for them to put their children into, we lose! We do provide things for their kids to do during the service and even have an option for their kids to be in a different room, if they don't want their kids to sit with them. We are also such a small church that we don't have a worship team/band/etc. Our worship music comes from music videos. The congregation we do have likes it this way, but of course we would love to have a worhsip team. So, if someone comes to our church and is upset that we don't have live music, we lose! The point I am trying to make is that when people come in with preconceived ideas of what a church should be like, they will never find a church home, unless they find a church who's goal is to entertain! Every Sunday our message comes from the Bible, so that can't be a complaint for someone, so instead, people leave the church and never come back because they want more from a church: they don't want friendly people who are following the Word of God; they want a church that give them something (a babysitter for their kid, entertainment, free gifts, etc.) I'm sorry if sound cynical, I truly want everyone to hear the Good News and learn about Christ's love, but if they come in looking for something else, then the church will always lose!
 
— JAG
 
Reminds me Tony Morgan's classic post entitle “What If Target Operated Like A Church?” I wrote about this in a blog post "Is Your Church Like Target…or More Like A Mall?" https://goo.gl/2qQIy3
 
— bruceherwig
 
Challenging and very good
 
— John Gilbank
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.