How many licks to the center to a Tootsie Pop? No matter how hard various cartoon creatures have tried, they have all failed to slowly make to the candy center. Because it's the center—that tootsie roll (or bubble gum) core—that everyone loves. It's that core that makes a Tootsie Pop what it is. Otherwise, it's just another run-of-the-mill lollipop. Likewise, there are certain elements that make an effective team: diversity, trust, competence, empowerment, and dialogue.
One evening when our adult kids were home for Christmas, we entertained ourselves with Google translate by translating phrases back and forth to see how they might change. Communicating clearly and effectively is both important and challenging for church and ministry leaders. How often have you conveyed a key message and then been shocked at how it was misunderstood by others? Probably far more often than you would like.
In the past, we've thought of hospitality as equivalent to entertaining and feeding people in your home. However, the conversation about hospitality is is turning to more about the whole person and the way you act towards others. No place is this more important today than on social media. Wherever we go—physically or virtually—we need to consider our words and our demeanor. Scripture promises the world will know us by our love, but I have wonder if they would recognize us on Twitter.
If Janis Joplin’s song title, Me and Bobby McGee, makes you flinch, you might be an English teacher at heart. When it comes to little old “me,” we seem to have lost our way. As communicators of the gospel, the way we write, speak, and teach matters. So, for the sake of good communication, the grammarians are here to help you out!
“We need to talk.” That simple sentence can spark fear and trembling, especially when there’s disagreement. We know conversation is a path forward but we also fear it may be unproductive and difficult. When we create a container for overheated conversations, we can talk things out without hurting ourselves or anyone else. We can make progress toward mutual understanding and decision-making.
Not long ago, while sitting on a panel of consultants, we were all discussing our strategies for initial interviews with clients who were in turmoil. One of the panelists was talking about how they like to know as much as they can before they go into the room. I often share that approach, but sometimes I preserve the option to do the exact opposite. I called it, “leveraging my cluelessness.”