This session is led by Danielle Strickland and Krish Kandiah.
What questions do we have as leaders:
- Is it more effective communicating with young people to be as close to them culturally?
- How do you grapple with being computer literate?
- Any tips on how to communicate with a diverse bunch of people in the same room?
- Communicating with young people who have been forced to attend by their parents?
- How do you chose what to prioritise when only having a short time?
- How do you communicate with atheists?
- How do you find time to prepare when this is your voluntary role?
- How can communicate effectively with a mac when it doesn’t have visual basic?
Authentic Communication – Danielle Strickland
Preaching is one of the most over-rated gifts in the church, saying that knowing that is what Danielle is doing! Preaching is the least effective way of communicating for fruit reaping of disciples. But we recognise that is how we encounter God together.
There is a video of TED on Eat, Love and Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert. She brings up some really important things about communicating through writing. Authentic communication is not just preaching – so many ways to communicate. When leading a cell church there was no traditional meeting.
In one hand we have conference style big church communication, but authentic church communication can be very different from that. Danielle’s emphasis at a local level is about relationships.
The masterclass has to be about getting people to engage with Jesus themselves.
How do we stay engaged in the culture, not just the church? Sometimes we see people as projects, e.g. running together with a friend – “I’ll run with you so long as you don’t talk about Jesus”, but Danielle couldn’t do that as her whole life revolves around Jesus – it’s not just a sales pitch. Authentic communication with Danielle is going to at some point touch about Jesus, as he is so crucial to Danielle, he is authentic and real.
The disciples communicated authentically – not just because they were aware their lives depended on that sales pitch – but because they truly believed and lived it out. Communication that isn’t authentic isn’t needed, the world has enough of that we don’t need anymore.
We have to learn to engage in the stories of our culture and then share our stories.
What way do you communicate most naturally and easiest?
Ravi Zacharias challenges us that we make assumptions that people get what we’re talking about it – we need to have more dialogue and relational work not just lectures. Bono has been challenged as to why he doesn’t go into politics for his advocacy work but for him a song can get into peoples lives’ as it is played time and time again.
Finding your voice is really key – finding the way that you communicate is crucial. When blogging first started it seemed hilarious as you don’t directly engage people and yet you might, like Danielle’s husband is communicating directly with 1000 people. The question becomes how does it stay authentic, how does he utilise that blog to be the most effective communication tool. Don’t feel there is only one way to communicate. Someone opened an art gallery of prophetic pictures of God at work in the world and people would come in and be communicated to effectively with the gospel through the art.
Preparing the Content – Krish Kandiah
Critiquing a video of cultural communication.
As John Stott said we need to double listen. We have to build a bridge between culture and the church otherwise it just becomes a cultural or religious lecture.
Listen hard to young people …
- Culture: entering in on purpose about culture, e.g. you may not want to but watch X-Factor etc. You don’t need to read lots of books on culture as often they’re generational on basis of age which are false and can’t cope with our individual stories.
- Spirit: people have spiritual stories, e.g. birth of child, sunset, great piece of music.
- Imagination: what are their hopes, dreams, vision, what type of world do they want to live in.
Listen hard to the text…
To see them grow in their faith we need to communicate scripture in ways that are culturally relevant way. Using off the shelf resources – if strapped for time these are great but they might not scratch wehere your young people are. We want our talks to feel local. It shows that you care enough about them to make it unique.
- Context: it is only a two-edged sword for us if you used correctly. Even the devil can quote scripture. So we must use context. God speaks to us most when we prepare to share with others. The Bible first of all speaks to the original audience before it speaks to us, understanding that is imperative. Don’t abuse the passage to make it say what you want it to say.
- Structure: wine tasting is amazing when you know where to drink each bit and what you’re looking for. The same with scripture, e.g. Psalm 2 – Hebrew poetry isn’t rhyme sounds but rhyme ideas which makes it easier to translate, e.g. iron v pottery, son v father. It’s in the Lord’s prayer, e.g. kingdom coming is his will happening. The Bible comes alive at this point and helps pass skills on to young people.
- Intention: Krish gave an example of a passage being taken out of context which God would never have meant it to mean. You always have to ask the God what did God originally want to say. When you speak and link with the heartbeat of the passage suddenly you have the authority of God’s power behind you, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. Wouldn’t it be great if that happened regularly – you felt God’s power in the words you share.