Posts Tagged “communication”

I spent the afternoon with the nice people at Lanark St Nicholas yesterday thinking about communication.

Here’s what we talked about, sort of:

What do you want to say?

Have you noticed that in Churches, or in any group really, people have different priorities and different ideas about why church is important to them, why God matters to them and what they would tell other people about that?  That makes a clear, consistent message difficult.  We need to work hard at identifying our ‘core message’

Focus on one thing… or three at the most, but one at a time

Pick something and stick to that for a while.  It’s how anyone trying to sell something works.  Stick to the message.  You can add to it, clarify it, expand it, but stick to the message.

Why does it matter to YOU?

It’s actually quite difficult to explain to people why your faith matters to you.  Faith is illogical.  Explaining illogical things is kind of hard.  Start with what difference it makes to YOU.  That means you need to actually think about what difference it does make to you!  That’s not easy so stick with it.

Tell someone – and sound like you when you’re saying it!

Try telling someone your story.  Some churches do this all the time.  People stand at the front and give their testimony.  We don’t.  That means we often haven’t given much thought to how we would tell our story.  Try doing it without using church words!  Try to use your words.  Sound like the person you are at work, at home, in the pub… the real you.

The rest is about choosing the right media, but until you get these bits sorted then it doesn’t matter what media you choose

Remember, everything is marketing!  Saying nothing is saying something.

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headphonesI love when you hear a lyric in a song as though you are hearing it for the first time.

I was walking to a meeting this morning with my iPod on shuffle when an Editors song came on.  For me that’s always a good thing.  The song was Smokers Outside The Hospital from their An End Has A Start album.  It’s a great song which I’ve listened to many times but a line stood out this morning:

I can’t believe you if I can’t hear you.”

Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking about communication over the past few days but I noticed the line in a way I never have before, maybe it’s because I wasn’t thinking about anything else than the song or maybe it was something else but today I heard it.

It fired all kinds of thoughts about evangelism in all it’s forms and how and when we hear things.  I often wonder not just how we tell the Good News but about who we tell it to and where.

I can’t believe you if I can’t hear you‘ seems to say something about the need for us to tell in a number of ways and in places that people will hear but perhaps it also says something about how and when we listen.

I’ve listened to that song 16 times according to iTunes but I’ve never heard those lyrics until today.  Today, for whatever reason, I was ready to hear.

Didn’t Jesus say something about letting those who have ears hear?  What are you saying and is anyone listening?  And more importantly, do they hear you?

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I’m about to have a class on using new media to communicate research findings.  Looking forward to it…

Oh, and I saw Dr Hilary Jones off of GMTV in Buchanan Street!

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Jack and I have been talking technology today. More later…

Sorry John…

I spent the morning talking about how the college (Scottish Congregational College) could make use of some of the very nice free tools that are around now to enable the college and its learners to share their thoughts, their work and communicate.

We like the look of PBWiki (a free wiki that is set up for education), Buzzword (free online word processor so students can collaborate on projects)  and Skype (the free video /audio / phone thing).

We talked Moodle for a bit but I have to admit I don’t know that much about how to host it, although I’m thinking that the nice big server sitting in the office might be able to double up as a  web server (is that nonsense?).  I think having a go with PBWiki is probably the best way to start and when we get to the point where we need more features or I get a chance to use it in another context (news of that soon) then we’ll have another think.

Suggestions, help and general comment would be great!

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Today was the first of my new class at ICC on Communication.  It’s a first year class on the Youth Work and Theology course so Today was one of their first classes!  We talked about (well I talked most) the internet and some tools for keeping in touch with their young people like Bebo and Facebook but also about blogging, texting and Flickr.

We’ve started our own class blog at http://y141.wordpress.com so feel free to pay us a wee visit as we try to work out what communication is and how it works.

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