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.

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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.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
 
— Laurie
 
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)
 
A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
— VRcurator
 

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