3 Skills to Teach as You Develop New Communicators

Is your church developing new communicators or are you hoping young communicators will cut their teeth at someone else’s church? I’ve you’ve lost any sleep over your church’s leadership pipeline you probably realize the importance of building your own farm team. 

Realizing the needed to grow more high capacity leaders from within our church we started a residency program. What I think has been most invigorating about this process has been realizing the untapped potential that exists among the people we already know. 

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The question is, what do you focus on? We can’t just expect that their “get it” right out of the gate.

As you begin to develop these new preachers there are 3 skills you need to pass on to them during their growth process. 

  1. Choosing scripture: 
    How do you choose the scripture you will be preaching from? Your new communicators may assume that these magically appear. I’m only half kidding. If they’ve never had to do this before they will not have had to develop the skill necessary to consider the entirety of scripture. They most likely have been working from a prescribed text, whether that was assigned or determined by a curriculum. Spend some time explaining how you came to the decision to use the specific text you are planning to use for a given weekend. 
  2. Unpacking Scripture: 
    How do you approach the task of “unpacking" that scripture? While the idea of biblical interpretation may come naturally to you now, it wasn’t always that way. As you begin to look at a text, ask them what they think the text is communicating. Then ask, “How do you think the author felt writing these words?” “What was the context he was communicating from?” Then, to get an even deeper understanding, “What was this text communicating to the original recipients?” 
  3. Addressing Your Audience: 
    What makes your audience different? Teach them how to speak to your specific audience. What style are they already used to? Who makes up your audience? How does that affect how and what you teach? 

These three skills will be routine to you, but likely new to any developing communicators. Spend the time on these three basics to help them get a solid foundation as they grow as preachers. 

And if you’re looking for some tools to help you through this process, check out Preaching Backwards. An eCourse that uses 6 simple questions to add more value to your next message. They will help you:

  • Speak in a way that encourages your audience to respond. 
  • Sharpen your call to action
  • And, give you a framework to develop new communicators while minimizing your leadership risks.

6 Simple Questions

6 simple questions to help clarify your message. Because if your message isn't crystal clear, how can your audience put it into action? 

Check out the Preaching Backwards eCourse available completely for free. It will walk you through 6 questions that will transform your Preaching Preparation into a more efficient and more powerful message. 

Should You Teach Anymore?

I was sitting in a boardroom. We were leading two departments with the staff built for one and I was teaching two completely separate talks every week. The team sat in one of our weekly meetings trying to figure out what to do next, how were we going to keep moving forward?

And then she said it. "Steve, I don't thing you should teach any more. Well, at least not every week." That's a hard thing to say to a guy who does it for a living...shoot, it's a hard thing to hear! But she was right.

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I couldn't give it the attention I needed to. And how could I expect to get any better as a communicator if I barely had enough time to prepare for next week's talks. That moment made me ask a two questions, questions it's taken me years to answer.

  1. What do I expect to accomplish when I teach?
  2. Am I a more effective speaker than I was a year ago?

You see, we have this unique opportunity. An opportunity every time we hit the stage, to change peoples lives. We challenge them to think differently, to wake up tomorrow and to be different than they were on Friday. We've got the opportunity to help them see themselves differently.

As preachers, we have an opportunity to help them understand that they are a child of God, the God of the universe! The God who told the lights to come on and the birds to fly and the man to stand up and walk. We've got an opportunity to change the way they look at the world around them. To hand them glasses that see pain, hurt and beauty in a way they haven't seen before.

The challenge? You've only got 30 minutes to do it. 

It's exciting to think about the possibilities, about what God is planning on doing in the lives of your audience. But when you stop to think about the window of opportunity you have, I've got to be honest, I'm scared that if I blink I'll miss it.

Bill Hybels said that the church is the hope of the world.  He's right. The church is what Christ left behind to keep the ball rolling. And after hundreds of years of habit, people are expecting us to gather together once a week and listen to the preacher do his thing. So we better make it GREAT! If the church is going to be the hope of the world, each part is going to need to function to it’s fullest.

  •  Leaders need to be great leaders,
  • Teachers need to be great teachers,
  • Care givers need to be great care givers,
  • Group leaders need to be great group leaders,
  • Neighbors need to be great neighbors.

If we are going to honor those before us as well as those we serve we must be great. We must put all of our effort into fulfilling our role completely!

We've got to ask ourselves those two questions: 

  1. What do I expect to accomplish when I teach?
  2. Am I a more effective speaker than I was a year ago?

You Can't Just Tell Me Why

We speak with passion. We want to inspire our audience to grow.

We want the church to be the hope of the world, but we aren’t giving them a fair chance. 

It's easy to just go to church, to just enjoy the exercise. But if we want our people do more than just go to church we have to give them the tools to be the church. 

We have to give them the tools to be the church.

For example, you can't just tell people to read their Bible. Sure, that tells them what they need to do, but it’s not enough. 

You can't just tell people to read their Bible and then why it’s important to do so. Sure, you will have told them what they need to do, and you will have convincingly persuaded them to understand the value that it can bring to their life, but that's still not enough. 

That’s telling, it isn’t teaching. 

My dentist can tell me I need to floss, he can even show me what happens if I don’t floss, but if he didn’t teach me how to floss he wouldn’t really be helping. 

In order for us to completely equip our people to be the church, we have to first to tell them what scripture is instructing them to do. Then we’ve got to sell them on why it’s important. But what’s most crucial is that we also tell them how to do it. We need to give them the skills necessary to implement it. 

So, before you finish writing your next sermon, ask of it these three questions:

  1. What am I asking them to do?
  2. Why should they do it? 
  3. What skills do I need to teach them, to equip them to achieve it? 

If the church is going to be the hope of the world, we’ve got to give them the tools and the skills to be the church.