Category Archives: Communication

Being Direct

Every eldership I have ever worked with I have told up front that I will trust them and that I expect for them to tell me anything I would need to know including any criticism that they are directing toward me. This is a very important thing to establish in any important relationship. Often we fear that being direct will result in alienating someone or hurting their feelings. Isn’t it more hurtful to talk about someone behind their back than to just be direct the first time? I typically make it a point in the churches that I have ministered at to also tell the congregation this – if you ever have a problem with me please come and speak directly to me about it. Again, this is an important trust building exercise but it is more than about trust. It is about doing what is right. It is about establishing a culture where mature, healthy dialog is rewarded and encouraged. That also means that those who try to say things indirectly need to be redirected to the person they are speaking about. This kills gossip. This also strips out the reward that people are used to getting when they complain to an eldership instead of talking directly to the minister. Instead of putting out the fire and “fixing” the minister, the leadership points people back to direct conversation.

This is the only true way resolution can take place. True resolution never takes place unless people talk directly with each other. If we are truly interested in resolving issues, there is no other way. If you find yourself talking about someone, ask yourself why you did that. Ask yourself whether or not this issue warrants talking directly to the person you have an issue with. If it doesn’t, then there isn’t any sense bringing it up to anyone else either. Most of the conflicts we see in congregations could be averted if we only spoke directly with those we had difficulty with. Oh what a challenge it is to be human with all of our weaknesses and frailties…all of our insecurities and foibles!

“I Know you are Busy, But…”

isn’t the most productive way to start a conversation. If something is worth asking someone to drop something else they are doing to do what you need them to do then you don’t need to start by making excuses for them before they have a chance to make them for themselves. While a sensitive andContinue Reading

Everything Communicates

Communication is unavoidable…in fact, if you try to avoid communicating that in and of itself communicates something to those who notice your behavior. If people can tell you care – that communicates. If people can tell that you don’t care – that communicates. If a ministry is running smoothly – that communicates. If a ministryContinue Reading

Preaching Into a Meaningful Whole: Connecting Sermon with the Rest of Worship

The sermon is never complete until the last word is said and people stand and sing. No matter how much I prepare, study, and wrestle over what needs to be said or how to say it…the sermon is never done until it is done. In order to make the sermon fit better into the restContinue Reading

Church and Communication

There are many ways to communicate. Sometimes we communicate intentionally. We have a message and we explain that message. We can also communicate by accident. There are things people think we are saying that we aren’t. This can happen due to lack of communication – because we didn’t say anything people make assumptions and endContinue Reading

Sending Mixed Signals

Look at this picture and see if you see anything strange about it. We took this picture on the way home this evening. Two signs are one way street signs going to the right. There is a don’t turn left sign to help you avoid going the wrong way down a one-way street and thenContinue Reading

God Uses Our Failures

I realized on Sunday that someone told me something earlier in the week that I was supposed to pass along. I forgot to say anything about it and I felt really bad about it. So I sent an apology email to my elders letting them know what happened and that I was the guy whoContinue Reading

Communication: Give Advance Warning

We were at a kids museum this morning and the fire alarm went off. This wasn’t any normal fire alarm either… the siren was going off, lights were flashing and a voice was talking. It kept saying, “Please leave the building. This is an emergency. Please do not re-enter the building unless allowed to doContinue Reading

Communicating the Obvious

When I first started into ministry I figured that if I communicated something once or twice that people should get it, retain it and apply it. That is how education works, right? Over time I have seen that assumption is not valid at all. People need to hear something over and over again before itContinue Reading

Seth Godin Nails it On Technology & Communication

I really enjoy reading Seth Godin’s blog. If you don’t read it, you really should go there, read a few posts and consider subscribing via the email box on the left side of his blog. His post¬†Toward resilience in communication (the end of cc)¬†is so good that I want to point you to it andContinue Reading


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