As Pastors, Teachers, Creatives and Worship Leaders, we have the absolute privilege in telling the greatest story ever told – we hear this all the time – and it’s true. The author of this story has allowed us to be a part of the screen play – to partner in delivering it’s message – revealing the characters and living out the plot! It’s a great privilege!
But this story isn’t just communicated through words.
The days of our message resting entirely on the effectiveness of the Senior Pastor on a Sunday morning are over. And although I still believe the message is the main thing, it isn’t the only thing being heard. In fact, most people have either tuned you in or shut you out way before the ‘message’ is presented based on the message they’ve already received and perceived by being in your environment.
The lesson I am learning is this: Everything communicates.
• an authentic smile
• a warm greeting or a cold dismiss
• a firm handshake
• eye contact
• focused attention in conversation
• clear signage for first-time guests
• kids environments
• burnt out light fixtures
• overflowing garbage bins
• stocked washrooms
• holes in the walls
• outdated content
• spelling mistakes in printed materials
• stuttering due to lack of preparation (umm…, ah…)
• smooth transitions
• stage presence
• appropriate visual support
This list could go on, but I think you get the point.
The non-verbal conversations communicate louder than any one of us would care to admit. Sociologist say we have less than .30sec to make a first impression – before anyone can ‘see your heart’ or learn what you’re all about – they judge you and your message based on what they see. And whether we like it not, their perception is their reality.
So what are you communicating? What is the message your community is hearing when they enter your environment, your office, your church lobby or auditorium? Does the message you are relaying measure up to message you want them to hear or does it fall short or lead them down a different storyline?
What are you saying?