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.

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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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I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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