Tag Archive | communication

Engage: Being Present with Those Around You

by Tom Jacobs

“I know you’re busy, but do you have a minute?”  “I’m sorry to bother you.  I know this is a crazy time, but can I run this idea past you?”

I wonder how many of my recent conversations have started with phrases similar to these.  If I’m not careful, I tend to pack my schedule and then wear my busyness like a badge of honor.  Too often, busy = important in our culture.

I want to reach the full kingdom potential that God has for my life, but I’m not sure that fulfilling His will necessarily means packing my schedule with paper-thin margins that stifle creativity, steal time for rest, reflection and restoration, and – most importantly – decrease engagement in my relationships with God and people.

How do I know when I’m too busy?  I’m too busy when I don’t have time to fully engage in relationships.  Instead of truly connecting with people, I’m thinking of the next task or appointment.

I’m trying to use questions like “I know you’re busy . . .” as reminders that I need to prioritize people over tasks.  With the Lord’s help, I need to intentionally engage with the person.

How can I engage?  Here a couple of ideas:

Listen. I need to stop what I’m doing, look the person in the eyes and listen.  Listen to what the person is saying.  Listen for the deeper message.  Ask questions.  Repeat back to the person to make sure I understand what they are saying.  Really listen.

Compliment.  You will engage with people more effectively if you look for things you like about them.  When you notice a great character quality or a job well done, say something.  Looking for positive attributes in others will help you to engage with them.  Stating those observations will encourage and build up the other person.

I’ m asking God to help me to be present in the moment with people.  I’m trusting Him to help me to really engage in God-honoring relationships . . . even when I think I’m busy with other things.

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Creating Thirst

by Don McGarvey

Once I asked an experienced horse trainer if it really was true that you could lead a horse to water but you couldn’t make him drink. He said it was true, but he also said you could put enough salt in his oats to make him thirsty.

As leaders, we want to create a thirst in the lives of our people to be part of the worldwide harvest of souls.  If you were to inquire of our Iowa missionaries about how they received their call to missions, they would tell you stories about listening to other missionaries talk about their work, participating on short-term trips and hearing their pastor talk about missions and the harvest of souls.

Make sure you lace your sermons, blogs, tweets and other forms of communication with stories about lives being changed and the partnership we all have in the process.  Make it salty so they will become thirsty for more!

There are great resources for these kinds of reports. Assemblies of God World Missions is continually updating their website with reports from around the world; the newsletters from Iowa missionaries often contain exciting reports of what God is doing on their particular field and I know they would love for you to share those victories with the people of your church.

As we pepper messages with the need to be salt and light both here at home and around the world, you will see a great thirst created in the lives of your people.

Renewed Communication

The way we communicate has changed. No longer are we limited to the phone and mail to disseminate information. Now we can communicate through several mediums, utilizing their individual strengths and weaknesses to communicate effectively. Church is not immune to these changes. Although it can feel confusing and frustrating to change the way we communicate, these new avenues open up a world of possibilities! Here are a few things to keep in mind as you assess how your church communicates.

Say more with less. In this digital age, people have access to a plethora of information literally at their fingertips. This access can easily turn into information overload, so people pay attention to pertinent information communicated concisely. In written communication, be sure to edit not only for grammar and punctuation, but also for conciseness.

Develop a brand. As ministers, we often cringe when we think about communicating the Gospel using marketing terms. However, in order to make sure your voice is recognizable in a world with so much noise, it’s important to develop a consistent look. Choose a logo, 2-3 colors and a text and heading font that all complement one another and stick with it. Keep it simple and consistent. The more you develop your brand, the more clearly your voice will be heard.

Remember your manners. Although in some ways the rules for communication have changed, some things have not. It’s still important to use correct grammar and proofread. With the ease of digital communication, sometimes we are able to communicate too quickly for our own good, so be sure to read what you write before posting or sending. In the world of visual communication, USING THE CAPS LOCK IS THE EQUIVALENT OF YELLING, AND IT’S EVEN MORE SERIOUS WHEN BOLD! Avoid using the caps lock. Instead bold important dates or pieces of information for emphasis.

Consider new avenues. Nearly 85% of visitors will check out a church’s website before actually going to church. It’s important to have an online presence in your community. If you don’t have the time or resources to develop a detailed website, you can put together a church website for free here. Provide information about your staff, service times, location and a brief overview of what you believe. Keep your communication simple, clear and up-to-date. Setting up a Facebook page, Twitter account or moving your bulletins to an email service like Mailchimp can add to your online presence. Remember to keep your branding consistent with your online communication by using similar colors, fonts and language.

Although the way we communicate has changed, our message has not. We have the unique opportunity to utilize so many great resources to connect people with a Father who loves them!

This blog was originally posted at the brand new IMN Communications Blog where you can get information about church communications.

One Who Leads

by Matt Loomis

A leader is one who leads. What an oversimplified definition of the responsibility and dedication required to be a leader! Leading often means choosing and or doing what is right or best even when it is not advantageous to the leader. At times it is costly and brings hardships upon a leader. But the essence of leadership is putting the success and interests of others before our own.

Whether as a leader of peers, a leader in the home or the leader of God’s people, leaders are interested in modeling what is right. Perhaps a child seeing a parent return extra change to a cashier who has made a mistake or a peer who has a shoulder to lean on in harsh times. Those who rely on us deserve a leader who will stand in the face of compromise. We are to be leaders who look to those around us and say, “I will do what is right.”

Pilate, the Roman Governor who found no fault in Jesus, was a leader by title. His voice carried the power to direct the life or death of Jesus. Yet when confronted by the possibility of an angry mob, blackmail by religious leaders, and the loss of position, he washed his leadership from his hands and stepped away. Although fully aware of what was right, he chose position over principle.

May leaders remember that principle: the essentials of true leadership has always been the bedrock of a leader. Without it every leader will fail. They may retain a title, but they forfeit their leadership.

Let’s determine to be more than just, “one who leads.” Instead be a leader!

Leading through Actions and Attitudes

Serving God is what we are called to do. Preaching, being a pastor, counseling or chairing a committee is what we do because we are servants. But leading is something we do in the midst of all these things. We are always leading.

World Missions in the local church is a great example of how we lead.

  • When a missionary visits your church, be there
  • Take time to make the missionary your friend
  • Read through their materials before they arrive
  • Request a bio before they arrive so you can introduce them effectively
  • Let your people know this person matters to you

In your preaching, use stories from the Mission field. These stories can be lifted right off the pages of newsletters our missionaries send out; utilize the website of Assemblies of God World Missions.

Recently the publication “Call to Prayer” has been brought online. Check it out here. It’s a great tool to assist you as you lead. In addition to a list of missionaries celebrating birthdays, this site stores articles, videos and other resources available for you to use as tools as you lead your church into a great awareness of God’s desire to win the lost, across the street and around the world. (This publication is also formatted for iPhone, Blackberry and iPad)

As a leader, you it may take time to get people on board with your vision. An old friend of mine once gave me some great advice from his days as a horse trainer. He said, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. But you can keep putting salt in his oats so that eventually he will get thirsty and drink.” Your attitude toward World Missions and Missionaries will be the “salt in their oats” that helps make them interested as well. Communicate your vision for missions clearly and consistently.

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Congratulations to Rev. Greg & Sandy Mundis, newly elected World Missions Director. Greg will assume this role upon the retirement of John Bueno, who has served as the Executive Director for the past fourteen years.

 

Twitter?

If you’ve ever wondered if Twitter is right for you, this is a great tutorial to help you get started.

If you have any questions about using Twitter and other social networking sites in your ministry, contact Ashley Knepper, IMN Communications Specialist, at (515)276.5493, aknepper@imnag.org, or by filling out the form below. We will also offer a lab on technology and ministry at e2, which you will not want to miss! You can register for e2 by clicking here.