If it’s worth saying, then it usually needs to be said more than once and in more than one way. This is my philosophy of communication. We simply can’t assume that if we’ve said something once or written it once, that people have therefore got it.
Take speaking at church for example: When an announcement is made before the whole church, does this mean that everyone has got it? Of course not. On any week there will likely only be 75% or so of regulars in attendance. Of these, some will be out with children or youth. One or two could be in the bathroom. Some might be vaguing out with other things on their minds. Others could be distracted by children, off with the fairies, or not grasp the importance or significance of the communication.
The same is true of a weekly email or blog post. Some in-boxes are so full that people have given up on looking at anything. Others glaze over the email coming from the same person with roughly the same information week after week. Some spouses forget that they need to pass things on to their other half. And some simply don’t find the time to read them.
For these reasons, and others, we need to consider the best ways of communicating things at church. Sometimes this will involve a verbal announcement at church, followed up by a notice, memo, email, blog post, leaflet or something else. Things might need to be repeated over more than one week so increase the likelihood of people hearing the news. At other times we might choose not to say things up front at church, so as to avoid clutter. Emails and blog posts are a simple means of getting information out, but they depend on people getting them and reading them, and sometimes they need to be followed up with verbal communication or discussion. Facebook groups can help alert people to things that are happening, as can an up-to-date website.
I want to suggest another means of communication at church which could be a little controversial—good gossip! Spread the word among each other. When I say good gossip, I don’t really mean gossip. There is absolutely no place for God’s people to be telling stories about one another, putting each other down, grumbling, whinging or complaining. This is why the generation of Moses perished in the wilderness. What I mean is helping to keep each other informed, know what’s happening, and be encouraged in our love and service. So when you see that someone is missing from church, why not give them a call, send them a text, pop them a visit, or message them on Facebook—tell them you’ve missed them and let them know what they might have missed.
We need to be patient with one another as we take time to get to know people, work out how things work ‘around here’, discover expectations, learn how to become better listeners, and explore good means of communication.
By the way, if you read this on my other blog jamesfourfifteen.com, it didn’t hurt to read it twice, did it!