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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comment_post_ID); ?> Are there any reliable statistics about the percentage of church plants that fail after 3 years in the US?
 
— Jon Moore
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 

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