Summary: The communication can never be more effective than the source. If the source is bad, the communication is bad. If rumors of a Pastor’s immoral practices start circulating, his sermons will soon lose their credibility. In addition, the Pastor’s sermons mus
Eight Keys to Effective Communication
1. The communication can never be more effective than the source. If the source is bad, the communication is bad. If rumors of a Pastor’s immoral practices start circulating, his sermons will soon lose their credibility. In addition, the Pastor’s sermons must be clear, definitive, convincing, and Biblically based if the source of the Pastor’s thoughts are to be respected. Proverbs 20:11 says,
``The character of even a child can be known by his acts-whether what he does is pure and right.’’
2. The transmission of the communication is done through signals, involvement, interpersonal interactions, group contributions, behaviors, voice tones, dress, reactions to problems, audience response, written messages, perceptions, memories, olfactory senses, visual messages, and spiritual senses.
Often, the tone of one’s voice will carry the largest amount of information to your audience. If you fail to stress a point with great emphasis in your voice and facial expression, people may misunderstand you! Remember our transmission should always include a balance of emotional and rational clues.
3. Multiple channels of communication increase its effectiveness. .
Illustration: When I returned home from Nigeria to visit my family after nine years my mother and father met me at the airport When my mother saw me she dropped everything in her arms, ran, embraced and kissed me. She wanted to use every one of the five senses she had to communicate her love (Taste, sound, touch, smell, and sight. She really expressed with her whole heart her love for the son that had come home-that was effective communication!
In our preaching let us learn to involve the audience’s senses as much as possible in our communication. Give them paper to write notes with. Furnish them with assignments that can involve them in applying the scriptures. At times give them opportunities to share intimately with others their needs for prayer, healing, and deliverance from oppression.
4. Consider the receiver’s perceptions before you begin communicating. For example, consider the felt and perceived needs of your audience. In Africa, most people feel a deep need to relate to others with harmony, joy, and respect. During the week be sure that you visit your flock to discover what their felt and perceived needs are during that week. Discuss with individuals about their views before you insist on preaching or teaching the
Illustration: ``Absolute Right Way’’ to deal with their problems. Francis of Assisi, a famous evangelist prayed, ``Help me to understand people more, even though I may be understood less.’’
5. Pray and request that the barriers to your target audience’s minds be removed. It is God who is at work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13) If your audience is predisposed to doubt, hate, resent, and belittle your words, your communication will be less effective. One way to lower the obstacles is through your actions and good works. Jesus said in Matt. 5:16,
``Let your light so shine before men that they can see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.’’
Illustration: One difficult elder once accused me of trying to build my own kingdom in a church in Los Angeles, California. However, after I took him to dinner, listened to his problems, and showed a keen interest in him as a person, he became my chief advocate in my youth ministry. It is a common fact that people respond more to our actions than to our words.
6. Remove distractions from your communications, but use intermediators. Sometimes it is hard to remove distractions, but if you will try to remove bothersome noise, unruly people, objects, heat, dirt, and other things that divert people’s attention from the message, your communications will become more effective.
Illustration: Internal noise can appear in the speaker as superiority, self-centeredness, dogmatism, traditionalism, insensitivity, manipulation, impulsive speech, judgmental attitudes, tribalism, or favoritism. Every preacher must be aware that he has internal noise that may be distracting his audience from hearing exactly what he is saying.
Illustration: Using mediators in your preaching, teaching, and counseling ministries was Christ’s key to seeing His church multiply. Find faithful friends, confidants, and family members who can help reinforce, clarify, and convince others that your message of truth is worth believing.
Illustration: Once I found a commissioner of education who served as my intercessor for distributing gospel tracts throughout a government school. Not only did many youths become Christians, but the message of the tracts took on greater credibility because their were thought to be directives from the State Commissioner of Education!
7. Ineffective listening is usually the single biggest hinderance to effective communication. Here are some of the most common barriers to listening:
A. Preoccupation - Some people are so preoccupied with their problems that they fail to concentrate on what is being said.