Keys to being an Effective Communicator as a Ministry Leader| Conviction

Being an effective communicator is hard work for most us. Its hard in the weekly grind to remember how important our 1v1 and large group communication opportunities are. God uses these moments to bring hope, healing and life transformation to others. Our words can be used to tear down, or they can be used to build up. I know you want to use your words to build because you are reading this to grow as a communicator. This will be a three part blog post on 3 Keys to Effective Communication.

To communicate effectively, it all starts with conviction. A leader must believe in what they are saying to lead others. We can’t simply go through the motions or say what we are expected to say by others.

Until you know why what you are suppose to communicate matters and really believe it can be used by God to encourage, challenge and build up the hearers, you aren’t ready to communicate. When we have conviction we passionately believe something and speak from the center of who we are. As ministry leaders, we must lead from the center of our soul so that we are communicating the reality of the resurrection by our presence.

Some may interpret conviction to mean yelling or animated and might accidentally come across as angry if they aren’t careful. Conviction shows up differently because of our different personalities, but it means that the hearers sense life being given to them in your words. They feel the importance and lean in, wanting to hear more because someone has wrestled enough with the text of God’s Word and the reality of our human condition to be able to speak into their life in a meaningful way.

Someone else has said you can have truth on ice or you can have truth on fire.

  • Do your hearers sense that you really believe what you are saying?
  • Do your hearers feel resurrection hope after being under your teaching?

Its not just the content that matters. The content is significant and our starting point. But we must work hard to have great (and faithful) content and conviction in the manner in which we communicate that content in a compelling way.

Both the content we communicate and the manner in which we communicate tell others listening something about who God is. Typically we think just the content communicates something about God. Make sure your content and presence in your delivery match up, so you aren’t sending mixed signals. Thankfully, we know our best is never good enough and God takes our weakness and uses it for his glory and others’ good. But that isn’t an excuse to not prepare or not value the hearers by giving your best. God uses us and never tells us to slouch, instead he calls and empowers us to our potential in Jesus. He has given you gifts and influence opportunities, grab onto them. Conviction starts by giving your best to understand and grasp the life-changing truths of God’s word. Then that conviction inspires those who are hearing when we embody the message as we teach.

We start with conviction, but we must get clarity or we will likely say many true things, but not with the laser focus needed. That is post #2. Look for it later this week.

Youth Ministry Internships

An ebook I have been working on for the last few months went live today.  It is a helpful resource for any young ministry leaders looking to figure out where to start when it comes to finding an internship, being a great intern and finding your first ministry role.  

It is also a helpful book for a ministry leader to give to interns to read.  This book will make your interns more effective in their roles if they lean into it.  

Please pass the link on to any young ministry leaders looking for an internship or ministry leaders who might want to give it to their teams

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Feeling Overwhelmed? One solution is to Delegate better

At a recent staff meeting we focused on the developing the skill of delegation.  I wanted to share the helpful thoughts from the time below.

 

5 Thoughts on Delegation by Mike Hansen

  1. Acknowledge your limits
  2. Determine Priorities
  3. Train Other Leaders
  4. Keep your ego out of the way 
  5. Accept responsibility

 

How to Become a Great Delegator (discussion around table)

  • Know the vision
  • Model what you expect of others
  • Ask what can I delegate?
  • Give Clear Expectations 
  • Create planned feedback loops
  • Know when to let someone fail for their good/learning proces
  • Remember its all about people.  Don’t become so focused on the task that you forget its about people

Daddy Detective

Video

In this video I show dads how to be alert and effective detectives in their own homes when their sons just won’t give up the pacifier. My son found one in the baby bag and kept looking at it out of the corner of his eye. Whenever I would walk away I would see his little eyes peeking around the corner to see if the coast was clear. It was…until daddy detective arrived on the scene.

Perception is Significant in our Culture

In our culture first impressions are important.  A medium size business came by my house today and handed me a flyer that had clearly been copied multiple times.  If this was a start company I could somewhat understand that.  But what would I pay thousands of dollars for an established company to build a deck in my back yard when they don’t pay attention the the small details of presenting themselves well?  If they can’t take the time to make a paper flyer look clean, why would I assume they will do the small things on a much bigger project.  I am sure it would have taken them a few more minutes to print an original to a machine, but they decided not to and simply send one of their young workers out the door with a badly copied advertisement for their product.

 

Here is my takeaway.  People pay attention to the small stuff.  Especially if you are a younger employee or intern, pay attention to the small stuff.  Whether we realize it or not, everyone around is constantly “pinging” us in every conversation, interaction and meeting to see if we are trustworthy and competent.  Normally this happens subconsciously, but when we fail to do the small things well it starts to happen on a conscious level.  Once team members, family members and bosses perceive we aren’t reliable or trustworthy, we have to work twice as hard to get their trust and respect back.  Don’t live in fear and get caught being a slave to peoples’ perceptions.  Don’t live your life as a people pleaser or you won’t really live.  

Be someone who is solid enough on the inside that you live a life where you are constantly doing the small stuff well.  If you do enough small stuff well, it adds up.

Tips for Interns

This is chapter six of a new ebook coming soon I wrote for interns who are looking to find an internship and succeed in their internship.  Pass it on to anyone you know looking for an internship, especially in Christian ministry, but this chapter applies to all internships.

 

06-ALWAYS BE READY

As I have worked with many interns over the last nine years, I find that some interns come ready and show responsibility, while others do not.  I am far more likely to look to hire interns who are come ready and to recommend them to be hired to others than interns who are not unprepared. It may sound small, but self-leadership involves being prepared, following through and showing yourself able to handle responsibility.  Interns who develop self-leadership are far more likely to be in ministry roles and stay in those roles five years later.  To be an intern who is always ready, here are three things I want you to own to help you be successful: Be Proactive, Be Prepared, Be On Time.  If you do these three things well, it will help you in the chaos of ministry to not only be a successful intern, but to reach your full capacity in ministry and responsibility.

Be Proactive

I look for proactive interns.  I would much rather slow you down than try to light a fire in you.  As an intern, know that the leader you are interning under is full with ministry opportunity and challenges.  The more proactive you are the greater blessing you will be to them.  The more reactive and passive you are, the more likely your intern experience will not work out well.  Being proactive in your internship means pursuing students without being told to.   If you wait for your team leader to tell you every action to do, you will have a bad internship experience and you won’t flourish in ministry.  If you are concerned about your supervisors’ perception, ask them if your plan for hanging out with Tom and John for ice cream and then going putt-putt with a group that day is okay.  Unless your leader has told you to be at the church, or given you a specific task to be focused on, then go find students.  Don’t sit in the office waiting for busy work. Go and be with others.

Proactive also means asking your leader in busy times if there is anything you can do to help.  If the ministry is prepping for an event or a retreat, ask in advance if there is anything you can pick up or something you can do to help with.  This will enable you to be someone who has the heart of a servant and is a proactive teammate which others will greatly value and appreciate.

Proactive communication means you take initiative to ask what the week looks like if your leader is not communicating well so that you don’t plan something with students on a day when something else is happening or during an all church staff meeting.  Be proactive in getting information that you don’t know about by simply asking them, “what do I need to do, where do I need to be, what do you want me to focus on this week?” 

Be Prepared

When are given a reading, an assessment, are asked to lead a bible study or preach a message, be prepared.  Nothing is more frustrating as a leader than an intern who is not prepared.  Nothing is also as encouraging, as an intern who is passionate and takes great responsibility for what they’ve been given.  Being prepared for events, meetings and teaching opportunities will help you thrive in your internship and larger ministry life.  Being prepared is a skill you need to cultivate.  Don’t show up late for meetings; don’t over-sleep just because you watched a late night movie.  I’ve worked with interns who were prepared and followed through responsibly and I’ve worked with interns who had an excuse every time we gathered as a team for why they didn’t read the chapter we were going to discuss or why they don’t have their outline done yet for their message.  Don’t think because you hung-out with students that it exempts you from being organized. Bring the right book, the expected paper, the exercise you were suppose to do.  Come ready with the evaluation that was supposed to be filled out and the chapter read. Be ready, be focused, and be prepared.

Be On time

Be on time for everything.  By on time I mean early.  Don’t show up ten minutes before something starts.  Get there early and see how you can help.  If you are early you can help create a welcoming atmosphere or put the finishing touches on room set up if they are behind.  Just because you weren’t asked specifically to do something, doesn’t mean your presence isn’t essential.  As an intern, you always have an integral role in what is happening.  There is an expectation that you will be helping to lead, serve, empower, and make the mission happen.  You cannot do that if you are late or absent.  It seems overstated, but being on time consistently and asking to serve communicates something about you.

 

Go Above and Beyond

Have you ever worked on a group project before?  Don’t you love it when someone goes above and beyond and it makes the whole group better?  Be that person.  If you want to maximize your effectiveness and your influence, always go above and beyond.  Never seek to do the bare minimum you have to do to get by.  This is an attitude issue.  When you do the bare minimum asked of you, you aren’t hungry to really lead.  You want to clock in and clock out.  I am not advocating an unhealthy perspective of overworking or a workaholic mindset.  But you will create a habit that will not only help you thrive in your internship but also for the rest of your life if you seek to make everything you touch better.  Do it as an act of worship. 

 

Reflection Questions

  • Why does your supervisor need you to be proactive?
  • How can you start anticipating needs before being asked to do something?
  • How will you juggle tasks and relationships?
  • Why would you want to hire someone who goes above and beyond?