When I read those words from Seth Godin, I instantly felt like he was reading my mind (and probably the mind of thousands of pastors).
As a church leader, in many cases, people just aren't listening as closely to us as they have in the past.
That is frustrating.
Irregular church attendance. Social media clutter. The increase in media options. Cultural shifts that have made the church (and it's leadership) less impactful and relevant. These all contribute to people just not listening (or seeming to care) as much as they did a decade ago.
And I think it's entirely fair to say that if you're communicating the exact same way you were ten years ago, the impact of your communication is much less.
That's encouraging, isn't it?
What to do?
Fortunately, Godin gives some advice: "Perhaps there's an alternative. Maybe, instead of insisting that people listen more closely, you could speak more clearly."
In other words... rather than blaming the recipient (which will actually change nothing), maybe we should try to adjust. One way to do that is to speak more clearly, concisely, accurately, and caringly toward those we are trying to communicate with.
I'm not sure that there is any one champion in the church today that is doing this well (yet). In many ways, we've changed just about everything in our churches in the past decade, but continue to communicate our main message in exactly the same way.
If we want people to listen, we must speak clearly, concisely, and differently.
Going back to Seth's first statement: "It's entirely possible that people aren't listening closely to you anymore." Do you find this to be true? Does this resonate with or frustrate you?
Your task today is to find ways to communicate more efficiently. More clearly.
Can you do it? How?
You can read more from Seth Godin on this here.
Todd has invested over 30 years in serving churches, having served as a worship pastor for over 15 years, a church elder for more than a decade, and in various ministry leadership roles in both the business and non-profit sectors. As the original founder and developer of ChurchStaffing.com, Todd fundamentally changed the way thousands of churches search for pastors and staff on the internet. Most recently, Todd’s work with Leadership Network has provided him exposure to the innovative trends in today’s church and inside knowledge of how healthy churches operate and uses it to help churches find a healthy, long-term fit for their next team member. Todd is a graduate of Cedarville University, and lives in Bryan, OH with his wife, Dawn.