This continues my plethora of stupid things I’ve done in ministry. I hope you can learn from me but at the very least laugh at me.
I remember serving at a church and taking kids to camp one summer several years ago. I had asked one of our long time helpers/teachers to cover the lesson that week and sent her the lesson plan. Or at least I thought I did.
You see, weeks prior I emailed it to her and even sent follow up emails. She never responded and I never made sure she was ready. I was so caught up in camp that I let it slip. I figured it would be alright and she would come through.
Well the Sunday morning after camp she was no where to be found. I ran to the sanctuary to see if she was held up talking after Sunday School. She was and nervously asked if she had everything she needed for the lesson.
“What lesson?” she replied. She wasn’t ready. She hadn’t check her emails that month apparently. I shouldn’t have assumed that my communications were received just because I sent them. She didn’t communicate the way I did. I learned afterwards that she would respond immediately to texts but didn’t check emails.
I flew by the seat of my pants that service and we had kids get up and testify about camp. It wasn’t a total disaster but I knew I had to get better at communication. We can assume that because we are talking that people are listening. Communication is two-way and if we aren’t using the proper channels then we are where the failure begins.
Can people understand what we are communicating?
I heard General Ulysses S Grant used to keep a regular solider at his side and run orders by him to make sure they were clear. I am infamous for writing things that make no sense which is why no one reads my blog. I have to run communications by others to make sure I am understood.
Are we communicating with the right length of information?
No one wants to read your novella email. I have received work emails that you had to scroll until your hand hurt. I just wanted to reply TLDR. The same goes for long policy manuals. Say what you got to say and then allow people to ask questions if they have them.
Do people know where to get the information they need?
You have to make it easy to get what they need or they just won’t do it. What methods do you use? Do people know that those are the methods?