After a few days of reflection regarding the 1o myths of communication, here are some of my conclusions. Language is a vehicle for the transfer of information and meaning, but it does not act alone, hence the term “non-verbal” communication. This present sentence, which you are currently reading, is actually the third draft of this sentence because carefully chosen words are essential for meaning to be conveyed. Let me propose a few Communication Truths that I think are relevant to the discussion. 10. We are accountable for our words.
Ah, I know you’ve been waiting ever so impatiently for the next five myths. Your patience will be rewarded. 6. The key to effective communication is the precise formulation of the message. Get this quote: “Many would-be communicators pay primary attention to the technical preciseness, accuracy, and truthfulness of the words and phrases they use to construct their messages. Yet the choice to use precise, technical language, especially with popular audiences, usually increases rather than decreases the possibility of misinterpretation. The drive towards preciseness does not take account of the fact that much of what goes into effective communication is outside the control of the communicator,” (32).
Charles H. Kraft’s book, Communication Theory for Christian Witness, has a chapter of ten myths in communication. These are quite helpful and challenging because there are several sacred cows in American Evangelicalism that he debunks. For example, I had a friend once who was offended that a church service did not conclude with an altar call. Although this was at one point a very effective tool for communication and calling people to respond, it has descended into emotive pleas with little substance (actually, I may be giving the altar call a little more credit than it actually deserves here). At any rate, see how many of these you can agree with: 1. Hearing the gospel with one’s ears is equivalent to “being reached” with the gospel.
This is a bit of a manifesto, but something that I have been giving a lot of thought to lately. The questions that I have pertain to calling, gifting, and suffering. I am in the season of life where I am trying to determine specifically where God has called me to plant a church. I am seeking some bedrock principles that have thus far eluded me because I seem to be stuck with a contradiction. I will tread cautiously, because I’m about to disagree with one of my heroes.
Timmy Brister posted a quote on his blog from David Alan Black about the benefits of blogging. Black makes some very helpful comments and encourages blogging because of the potential to disseminate information very quickly. Frequent posting sometimes can lead to quick, unreflected and unthoughtful remarks, which are posted to the world. But this need not be. The greatest power of blogging is also its greatest vulnerability, but rather than avoiding it, we should embrace it with wisdom. The potential for sin does not make something inherently problematic. This is the same old protectionist philosophy applied to new mediums. So, blog on, bloggers! But be careful, too.
Get this. My aunt and uncle in a Huntington, WV, “suburb,” have been featured all over the national news scene for digging their dog out of a drain pipe. My uncle’s dog, whom he’s had for 14 years, got caught in a drain pipe presumably to escape the heat, and was pretty much buried alive for four days. My uncle dug a 30′ hole in his front yard to access the drain pipe. He cut the pipe open and pulled the dog through. At first, it was a local news sensation, as these things tend to be. But within a day’s time, they have been featured on CNN (video)and MSNBC. Tomorrow morning (8/22), Good Morning America will do a live feature from their own dug up front yard. The day after that, they and their dog will be off to NYC (New York City!!) to be on the today show.…
I don’t know whether to be embarrassed by this guy or proud of him. Either way, he’s creative. He’s featured so prominently on this blog because he performed this heroic stunt just a few miles from my hometown in Huntington, WV.
Makoto Fujimura, is a gifted Christian artist and was World Magazine’s Daniel of the Year in 2005. Francis Schaeffer was, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant minds and cultural analysts of the 20th century. Enter Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with its Center for Theology and the arts.
My friend, Matthew Wireman, has a post about the trendiness of church planting. He mentions his friend who had bought into the idea of church planting only to later retract his enthusiasm for it. Is it just a trend?
Here’s the rationale for my prediction that church planting will replace the parachurch as the primary evangelistic vehicle in America. Four reasons why church planting takes the best of parachurch strategies and reimplements them into the life of the local church: a. communities of faith: this is what the parachurch develops on campuses. People get involved in the parachurch community and then invite their friends to be a part. Church plants, who naturally attract younger people, can do this as well on a more permanent scale. This is the bedrock of evangelism. b. initiative evangelism: this doesn’t mean confrontational evangelism, but rather recognizes that the burden of initiative of spiritual conversations is on the believer. Parachurches teach this principle well, but church plants can be taught it also. c. outreach to emerging generations, generally attracting younger audiences. Since church plants do attract younger people on the whole, they will be…