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Reblog: Abstract and concrete communication

For any field you can communicate a spectrum of things; from abstract ideas to concrete things. And in this sense, bible communication and organisation communication are no different.
The trick is to realise that you don’t just have a personal bent to communicating one way or the other. Rather, chances are you prefer to communicate down one end of the spectrum in the “bible teaching” field, and down the other end if the spectrum in the “organisation” field.
We’ve realised that we’re really good at communicating “biblical abstracts” (e.g. Doctrine, atonement, sovereignty, etc.) but we’re not very good at communicating “biblical concretes” (this is how you get to church each week, this is what evangelism at work looks like).
On the organisation side of things, we’re fine at communicating concrete things (where, when, who) but we need to develop in communicating our abstract org ideas (why church is so important, why we do small groups, why…)
What are your communication tendencies for each of your fields?

Scripture, stories and stats

Different people are tuned into different frequencies. Some people just want to principles from scripture, the verses to back it up, and the biblical implications. Anything else is superfluous fluff.

Some people just resonate with stories. The personal journey, the struggle, the hope, the victory, the passion and people. That’s what’s real to them; it’s what matters. They’re less likely to be swayed by biblical arguments and numbers on a chart.

Some people just want the numbers. They understand that scripture and stories are all real and (somewhat) important, but if it’s not going to make a difference, or there’s no plan or strategy, it’s just pie-in-the-sky.

If you want to communicate to a lot of people, these are three good things to keep in mind. Whether it’s a sermon, an ad, or a project overview; these three people will probably be in the room.

Numbers change communication

When church is 30-60 people, your primary communication channel is word-of-mouth; you can get around to most people in a week, and the other will hear about it soon enough. Any ads up the front, or video-ads are purely secondary to that word-of-mouth.

When church is 120-200 people (and all the more as you grow), your primary communication channel is up-front ads, videos, etc. But what’s often forgotten is that word-of-mouth becomes a purely secondary method. What was once primary simply becomes unreliable.

It’s nice when it does happen, but you can’t rely on it.