Interpersonal Leadership: Communication
“Biblical Texts and Practical Contexts” (SL#51)
by Lloyd Elder, Th.D., adapted from SkillTrack® 7.3 - Interpersonal Communication
This brief article seeks to provide a “thumbs up” support to all the other articles on “exchanging meanings.” As we focus on person-to-person and small group communication, it seems we must honestly address at least two major components--and we have tried to do so:
So, I am not going to review the other articles but merely offer a slice from the whole study.
1. Expressing Biblical Teaching
Perhaps you’d like to conclude this series of articles by asking a few questions about “exchanging personal meanings” by seeking biblical responses:
- What would Jesus do? (WWJD) “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”--Luke 6:31
- What would Paul admonish? “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” --1 Cor. 13:11
- How would James wrap it up? “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, . . . We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” --James 1:19; 3:2
2. Your Case Studies: “Meaning Exchange”
Case studies is one of the ways we learn from our own experiences and reflection. As you move from biblical times to your contemporary life and leadership, your final exam is to write a case study about “meaning exchange.” Choose a “hot button” experience you have had or one you are preparing for. Use the real situations expressed below as a possible starting point. Select such a recent communication experience and write it out; be brief but clear: What happened? What was the issue? Who was involved? What was your role? Were you the sender or receiver/responder? What did you say, show, do to carry your meaning to another person? How did they respond? What did you learn?
3. Actual Interpersonal Communication Situations
Make your own list of situations in which you seek to “exchange personal meaning.” The following were suggested from ministers in my conferences:
- You read a passage of Scripture to a discouraged friend and gave its meaning.
- Shared a testimony about your personal relationship to Christ.
- Taught a class of adults about the biblical meaning of “sanctified.”
- Showed a new employee how to set the alarm system.
- Counseled a couple about their wedding and meaning of marriage.
- Led the staff in its annual planning and training retreat.
- Closed an agreement with a new vendor that supplies the church with regular printing jobs.
- Convened a church planning council meeting to critique an architect’s building proposal.
- Made a report presentation from your committee to the congregation for its approval.
- Sought to contain or reduce the conflict level between two very articulate (ever quarrelsome) church committee chairpersons.
Now, go out with joy and expectancy to share messages and meanings about Christ and His kingdom work; enrich your family and personal life; improve the quality and satisfaction of your servant leadership.
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