UNLEASHING POTENTIAL IN STORYCENTRIC COMMUNITIES

Communication

Communication Usually Fails Except By Accident

Communication Usually Fails Except By Accident

Communication usually fails except by accident.   – Osmo Wiio In every leadership role I have ever held, my best efforts to communicate have often been misunderstood. If by chance you’re not familiar with Wiio’s Laws of Communication, my experience is all-too-common. Osmo Wiio (1928-2013) was a Finnish economist, educator, journalist, author, and politician. He is best known for his somewhat facetious “laws” around human communication. Here are four of them:   Law #1: If communication can fail, it will. Consider a case where a freshman supervisor is explaining to her veteran team the steps to get a project done on time and under budget. The supervisor attempts to convert her knowledge about project management, which is something invisible and intangible in her mind, into words, drawings, or gestures. It is this visible and audible data that gets “transferred” to the team members. The supervisor and team members may assume they

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Season of Prayer

Season of Prayer

Will you join us for a season of prayer throughout the month of October? Listen to more about this here:   You can download an electronic copy of the entire October calendar by clicking here.

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 6)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 6)

  The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. To review, here are the first five: Jesus used good stories. Jesus used rich imagery. Jesus asked good questions. Jesus related truth to real life. Jesus spoke “the people’s language”  Today we are wrapping up this series to talk about the sixth way Jesus communicated. 6. Jesus often summarized stories Jesus understood that he was talking with an oral-based storycentric

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 5)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 5)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Then we looked at how Jesus used rich imagery. Next we discussed the way Jesus asked good questions. Last week we looked specifically at the Sermon on the Mount and the way Jesus related truth to real life. Here’s the fifth one. 5. Jesus spoke the “people’s language.” Think about the

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 4)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 4)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Then we looked at howJesus used rich imagery. Last week we discussed the way Jesus asked good questions. Let’s explore the fourth communication style today. 4. Jesus related truth to real life. As we are interacting with the way Jesus communicated as a model to us all, one question comes to

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 3)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 3)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Last week we talked about Jesus using rich imagery. Today we will look at the third communication style.   3. Jesus asked good questions Not only did Jesus tell good stories and use images, but he also asked good questions. By asking questions he was involving the audience and

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 2)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 2)

Last week we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over six weeks we will be highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. Last week we talked about the first one: Jesus used good stories. Today we will look at the second one. 2.  Jesus used everyday objects and verbal imagery If you give someone a mental picture, he will take it home and it will be in his heart for a long time. Jesus knew that and often used everyday images and objects or

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Jesus, the Master Communicator (part 1)

Jesus, the Master Communicator (part 1)

When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord, the long awaited Promised One. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? This was the challenge that one of our Indian leaders made this week among a group of twenty-five ministry colleagues from India and Nepal gathered to plan for the first-ever Orality Institute of Leadership. These men and women will serve as certified facilitators in the Institutes’ regional hubs across this region. Students that attend this Institute will receive training and mentoring in character formation, biblical literacy, and ministry skills. They will learn how to lead people effectively with Jesus as their ultimate model. And the entire curriculum will be oral-based rather than literacy-based.This is an historic initiative, the first of its kind. So, let’s go back to

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Get Them Talking Again

Smart Phones Smartphones inhabit an essential place in our daily lives. We call them “smart” because they allow us to do everything except talk to each other. That’s a problem. We use smartphones to write emails, play games, text memos, order pizza, and get directions. Right now I’m listening to Rascal Flatts through earphones jammed in both ears to drown out the noise of jet engines (and chatty fellow travelers). These technological marvels have nearly eliminated the reason for a phone: to talk to another human being. Healthy Human Relationships Author and psychoanalyst Sharon Turkle chronicles how the smartphone has dramatically shifted the core element of society: human relationships.1 Turkle encapsulates the problem as one of losing both the desire and even the ability to talk to each other. People are avoiding conversations in favor of texting or email. While these forms of communication can be more convenient, there is

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The Word

The Word

That’s right – for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is not a word. Rather, it is an emoji officially called “Face with Tears of Joy.” This image was selected as the ‘word’ that best reflected the mood and preoccupation of 2015. The world’s word police point to a swelling global phenomenon. An emoji is a digital image used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication. The word emoji has been found in English since 1997. According to data from the Oxford Dictionaries Corpus, its usage more than tripled in 2015 over the previous year. These pictographs are no longer the exclusive domain of texting adolescents – instead, they have had notable use from politicians and celebrities and brands alongside everyone else. Emojis have been globally embraced as a nuanced form of expression, one that can cross language barriers. Emojis and Storycentric Communication

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Stories Have A Bad Reputation

Stories Have A Bad Reputation

Using Stories to Communicate A recent group conversation was about about the use of stories to communicate truth. One person in the group said, “No way. We cannot entrust truth to be communicated through a story. We must convey facts and principles and concepts.” This statement comes from common myths and misunderstandings that prevent many people from viewing story as a viable means of communicating truth. When you mention the word “story,” many people think of nursery tales or the kiddy corner of a bookstore. Stories are perceived as “just for fun” and are often relegated to children’s bedtime or elementary school. Stories also suffer from a bad reputation. In politics, business, and church, it is often assumed that people use stories if they have a weak case or in order to put a spin on something. Stories are seen as a device to stretch logic, and are not effective

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Story Changes People From The Inside Out

Story Changes People From The Inside Out

“Worldview” is a collection of assumptions people hold about the world they live in and their place in it. More specifically, our worldview can be defined as a set of subconscious mental images that guides what we believe to be real, what we perceive to be important, and how we behave toward others. So how does a person’s worldview form? And how can one’s worldview change? Images A communications professor once told me that our most firmly held convictions are in the form of mental images. These images that reside in our minds are developed and remembered based on past experiences. For example, try this experiment. Ask someone:  “What comes to your mind when I say the word ‘wedding’?”  If your conversations are like mine, responses you get will be quite varied, but they often include “bride,” “white dress,” “vows,” “rings,” “flowers,” and “dancing.”  Some will recount portions of their

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