Are You Being Heard? by Tanya Glass

All in one week I’ve watched a DVD on Systems by Andy Stanley which included bonus interviews with key people on his staff. The main theme:  internal systems and communications. I also read an article in Inc Magazine about “How to Communicate Better with Employees.” Immediately after reading the article I thought, what if pastors and leaders used these same techniques with their churches? Staff? Volunteers? Congregations? These are some portable principles from the article that I believe will help any leader. If you like the tips, read more here on

Create a Culture:

  • Schedule informal communication: for church leaders this can mean having conversations during the day or during the week that aren’t centered on “all things church” or to-do lists. It’s ok to relax and have fun – even schedule it!
  • Meet one-on-one:  Take a volunteer to coffee, play basketball with your student leader, go shopping with your women’s ministry leader. Be creative, be genuine.
  • Meet in groups: just before or just after an event is a great time to meet together and pray, play, and eat. Church folk love food, so if you get a group together make sure you’re prepared with even a little something. Take time to laugh, listen and lead.

Make sure Your Message is Heard:

  • Evaluate your own abilities: as a leader play to your strengths, delegate your weaknesses. Give others a chance to shine.
  • Sharpen your message: “People normally remember only three to five points from any communication. So keep it short and sharp.” If you are leading a meeting or a service, this is great advice for creating an outline people can retain and reuse.
  • Recognize good work:  Staff and volunteers are constantly exemplifying the “win” of the vision of the church. Draw attention to it and celebrate “the win” often. Andy Stanley’s, “Making Vision Stick” is a perfect tool for digging deeper into this principle.

What are some of your thoughts on creating a culture of communication where others feel heard?

Tanya Glass is an Editor and Research & Data Analyst for Check out her personal blog TanLines. Follow her on Twitter here and friend her on Facebook here. She resides in Los Angeles, CA.

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