The Importance of Communication
Every Thursday, I post a leadership lesson on the ZoneGathering, our online community for NCC small group leaders. Sometimes, I double post that article here. This week, we begin a new series on the topic of communication.
The Importance of Communication
A few weeks ago, I made a pilgrimage to
As I journeyed through the greenhouses of the Land Pavilion, I was transported back through time and space and was reminded in a powerful way of the faithfulness of God in my life. Although I no longer draw my paycheck from doing that stuff, I still love it. And it’s part of my DNA and the path that God led me down to get me to where I am today. But that really has nothing to do with what I want to talk about today…
One of my favorite “rides” at
But now that I’m older and actually listen to the ride narration and comprehend the story it’s telling, I realize that this ride is not so much about history as it is about the development of and importance of communication. In fact, that’s the underlying message of the entire EPCOT complex. Whether we are advancing technologically in Future World or building cross-cultural relationships in World Showcase, communication is the glue that helps us grow as a people. The message of EPCOT is that communication is key to progress.
I learned the importance of communication in a very personal way during the trip, as well. There were 5 of us on vacation together- my husband Ryan, Ryan’s 11-year old brother Josh, my parents, and me. Because some of us love roller coasters and some of us love It's a Small World, there were certain times when we decided to “split up.” My parents would go ride Dumbo while the rest of us would go ride
But looking at things critically, I’m not sure if technology has made us better communicators or worse communicators. Sometimes, I think that technology has made us faster communicators but not necessarily better communicators. Some of the worst communication I have ever seen has occurred over email. People slap stuff on blogs that they would never print in a book. Text messaging provides an outlet for quick but thoughtless transfer of thoughts and emotions. We live in an age where communication is easy but often ineffective. Rather than communicating well, we just contribute to the white noise.
The Scriptures speak often about how we use words and interact with one another.
They speak about the power of words: "Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit." (Prov 15:4)
They speak of the value of words: "Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies." (Prov 20:15)
They speak of the source of words: "For whatever is in your heart determines what you say." (Matt 12:34b)
Good communication skills are essential for any leader. Over the next several weeks, we will explore different types of communication. We will explore what Scripture teaches about how we should use our mouths. We will talk about 360 Degree Communication-- with God, with those in authority, with other leaders, and with those you lead. We will establish guidelines about both written and spoken modes of communication. We will share ideas on how to communicate in specific circumstances-- communicating change, communicating in conflict, communicating in confrontation, communicating encouragement.
If there are specific communication topics you would like to see addressed, please use the comment thread or shoot me an email.