Intended outcome. The difference between accusing and rebuking is the desired outcome.
A rebuke is a form of love. It’s really an appeal. It’s an appeal to stop, repent and renew ones commitment. Sometimes it’s an appeal to have a soft heart and admit wrong-doing in the first place. But in all those scenarios, a rebuke is aimed at a certain outcome, by the grace of God.
As such, a rebuke doesn’t carry a condemnation in itself. It may outline a future consequence (“if this doesn’t stop we will need to take these steps”). Rather, it is an appeal to see and change one’s sin with an offer of forgiveness.
On the other hand, an accusation is what satan does. An accusation is not an appeal to someone to change, but a verdict that change is not enough, and forgiveness is out of reach. It doesn’t look to a renewed commitment, but looks to incite guilt and self-loathing. An accusation is a declaration of condemnation.
However, because the difference is a “desired outcome”, that means someone who is unwilling to repent as desired will only hear a loving rebuke as an accusation. They can’t get past the first part of the rebuke… The idea they did something that needs to change.
For many people missing out on a conference, it’s not just the preaching and encouragement they miss out on, but it’s also observing the well-run machine of a big conference so they can take and apply the ideas in their own conferences, camps etc. So here’s a few…
Question time questions, not by SMS, but by app. A sure fire way to get loads of people to download the KCC app (it worked for me)!
Choose a location that has intrigue. The Australian Tech park is pretty cool, and adds an exciting element to the conf. As always, while dealing with humans, you need to have an eye to how I and are affected by locations.
Limit information. I know things sounds weird (and I don’t know how intentional it is) but there’s something to be said about keeping back some key information from your participants. It’s day 2 and I still don’t know which of the key speakers is speaking tonight. I don’t even know where my next seminar location is. There’s some workshops happening this arvo… I’m not sure what they are or who’s running them. But, the opt out level will be much lower, because I don’t know what I’m opting out of. Very gen y.
Two tier seating tickets. Yep, despite James 2:1-4, there are two seating areas… The up front, close to the action seats (zone 1 – blue) and there’s the up the back, participate through the video relay seats (zone 2 – yellow). Though I can imagine this working in America, I can’t hep but wonder if the cheaper tickets are zone 1, so those people have to fill the front section as a punishment ;)
It is a good way to fill from the front… A perennial problem in Australia.
In the end, that’s the basic things leaders need to do… They might do it with their team, or without their team – but that’s one of the decisions they make. Heck, they might even decide to ask for a vote.
Leaders need to make decisions because, in the end, they are responsible for what got decided.
Some leaders are really people orientated, and they are great at relationships, and building teams. Others are very task orientated and take a humans-as-resources approach. But the mistake is to think that the former don’t make decisions, while the later do.
If you’re a leader who’s good at building relationships easily and “getting people on board”, you’re still the decision maker. But chances are you’re guiding people to want the same thing you’ve already decided. That’s not bad, but there’s a danger to be easily avoided; they might “want” what you want, but they know it’s not their decision – and they don’t think you’ve made a decision (because you keep talking about it) – so nothing actually happens.
So don’t just go and make a heap of decisions… rather, ask the question, “Have I communicated my decision clearly?”
This is a really important question to consider as a leader. When something doesn’t go to plan, after you’ve planned it, and delegated it… what’s the problem? Where do you go for answers about what went wrong?
The only question to ask yourself (as the leader) is, “How well did my team understand what I wanted?”
Please note, this is not “How clearly did I communicate it?” or “How many times did I explain it to them?”. It’s a consideration of how much they actually understood it… how clearly were they able to verbalise it back to you?
Regardless of how many times they’ve heard it, if their version of the expected outcomes is not the same as your version… it’s not a outcomes problem, it’s a leadership communication problem.
The word gospel is usually thought to mean “good news”, but it’s more like “important news”.
The gospel is what happens when the president calls the TV stations and says, “Clear your airwaves, I need to address the nation in 30mins”. He’s saying, “I have a gospel”.
For a gospel to be a gospel it needs a speaker and an hearer. It needs to be passed on, communicated, to be a gospel. In fact, if you knew the gospel and didn’t pass it on – in some senses – it actually stops being a gospel. It becomes an archive. It’s still true. But it’s not a gospel because it’s not being proclaimed and communicated and announced.
One of the common ways which those of us in christian leadership fail is in our communication. We communicate ideas and big pictures of things that are clear in our head, however… our hearers only get a fuzzy idea of what we’re saying.
One of the ways to improve anything you’re communicating is by spelling out some of the potential consequences. For example:
“I’d like you to join our kids team… you’re going to miss-out on Sunday sleep-ins ’till 10am for the rest of the year.”
“I’m glad you’ve repented of this sin… you’re going to need to tell James and say sorry to him too.”
“This is going to be a big responsibility… I need to make clear that if you fall into gross sin or ignore your responsibilities, it will damage a lot of people’s trust and there might be cause for public rebuke.”
Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine the the things they’re going to experience… make it clear because it’s your vision about their life.
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?