Thursday, November 19, 2009
It's not what you say....
I’m reading a book about communication in the church, Less Clutter, Less Noise by Kem Meyer. She tells a story about a grandfather who was teaching his four year old grandson how to read. The boy pointed to a picture in a zoo book and said, “look, Grandpa, it’s a frickin’ elephant.” The grandfather took a deep breath and asked, “What did you call it?”
“It’s a frickin’ elephant, Grandpa – it says so in the picture.”
And so it did. When the grandpa looked down at the picture, it read:
“A F R I C A N Elephant.”
Meyer concludes: It’s not what you say: it’s what people hear.
What are we saying in the church? What are we saying about God and following Jesus? What are saying about our community and our congregation? What are we saying about the things we do here? And even more importantly: what are people hearing? It’s not enough to talk about what’s meaningful to us – we have to talk about what’s meaningful for the people we are to whom we are speaking.