Evaluating Lines of Communication

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I was talking with a Marine last week who told me that at times they will ask someone on the mission what the mission is about and what they are going to do. If the enlisted man doesn’t have a clue then the lines of communication are broken and adjustments have to be made to make it effective again. If he can give a good explanation of what is going on then it is clear that the message and orders have been clearly communicated all the way down the chain of command.

I was thinking about what answers the small group leaders, Bible class teachers, deacons, etc would give to some questions about why we are doing the things we are doing. Do they have a vision that fits the whole body or only a vision that fits their particular ministry in isolation to the other ministries? If they don’t where has the chain of communication been broken and how do we fix it?

There are four main areas of investigation that I am going to be talking with our LIFE group leaders at Northwest about. Each of these areas comes with various questions that will help me understand what has been communicated to them and how they have understood what their ministry is all about. Here are the four areas:

1.      Defining the Purpose of your group – why are you meeting?

2.      Connecting people to your group – how will people get connected?

3.      Setting Healthy expectations – what are people expected/group leaders to do?

4.      Support – how will leaders get support to lead their groups well, handle conflict, etc?

I am going to ask our LIFE group leaders these questions and some sub questions next week and I am very curious what their answers are going to be. What it will tell me is not so much how “on the ball” our leaders are but how well I have communicated the vision and purpose of our groups to them. On page 72 of Andy Stanley’s book 7 Practices of Effective Ministry he writes, “As long as the win is unclear, you force your team to guess what a win looks like”. It is important we simplify things and make what is most important in our ministries crystal clear so there is no doubt what is happening and why we are doing it. It is also important to periodically assess how well that information has been communicated to the people who most need to hear it.

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