A certain pastor made an announcement during the morning worship service which was not fully understood by attending members. During the next few days there seemed to be some misunderstanding about what the pastor either said or meant. Hearing about the confused messages being circulated by some church members about his announcement, the pastor felt a need to clarify the matter. He wrote a brief message in the following Sunday’s bulletin:
“I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. “
Communication is crucial for a church’s effective ministry. It has been said that organizations are not held together primarily by precise structure but by effective communication.
Most communication theories propose that much conflict and misunderstanding is the result of poor communication in either quality, quantity, or form. If the quality of communication can be attained, and
accurate data are put in the correct form, the cause of a dispute will be addressed and the participants will likely move toward resolution.
Printed information is, indeed, an indispensable ingredient in productive communication. At the same time, it must be noted that frequent, face-to-face dialogue is the most effective form of communication. There is nothing like a personal and immediate response to someone’s concerns to clarify purposes, resolve doubts, insure meaning, and reduce fears.
Frequent, face-to-face dialogue is also the most expensive means to communicate. As you would imagine, this approach requires much time, effort, and energy, but the investment is well worth the results.
At times, when differences exist between people or groups, there may be a tendency to isolate oneself from a group while taking a “stand-offish” position. Often, groups who differ with each other will avoid meeting or talking to those with opposite views. Such a strategy never aids in understanding, progress, or reconciliation. Many people who think alike will stay with their group and are hesitant to gravitate toward others who are not “like-minded” with them.
Although it may not always get us what we want, I am thoroughly convinced that the following principle can at least lead toward effective communication in most situations.
A willingness to initiate and/or maintain contact demonstrates an appreciation for likenesses and respect for people with whom we differ.
“Still Trying To Be A Better Communicator”
Rock Hill, SC