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No matter how clearly you have heard from God about the direction for your life and the vision for your calling, if you cannot communicate it to other people, it stops right there. It dies unborn inside of you.

For a Christian, the ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills to develop. Oftentimes, we view effective communication as a product of personality or gifting. And that is not true. No one is born with a silver tongue. No one automatically has all it takes to be a gifted communicator. It is something you learn and deliberately cultivate.

Anything meaningful that happens in your life involves relationships, and successful conduct in those relationships depends on your ability to communicate clearly—in a way that will inspire and motivate others. Communication is, without a doubt, one of the most important things for any person to develop if they are interested in succeeding in life.

And for a leader it is an absolute essential.

Placing A Premium On Communication
Put a premium on the ability to communicate well. Make a decision that you are going to allow the Lord to shape your communication skills in a way that will enable you to be more effective as a leader. Nothing has a greater impact on that effectiveness than your ability to communicate.

The Bible says we must become good communicators if we are going to accurately share our vision and give direction to the goals God has set before us. Therefore, it is important that we know how communication takes place. What happens? How do we communicate things to another person?

Two Levels Of Communication
There are two basic levels of communication. One is verbal communication and the other is nonverbal communication. Let's take a look at what the Word has to say about communication from these two perspectives. God gives us a lot of specifics.

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers" (Eph. 4:29).

The word corrupt does not mean cursing or slang or profanity. The Greek word for corrupt means "worthless." 1 You could read that verse like this: "Let no worthless communication proceed out of your mouth."

The next part of that verse defines worthless by telling us that if our communication is not edifying, it is worthless. Now the Greek word for edify means "to build up," as in building up the Kingdom of God or the body of Christ. 2

So Ephesians 4:29 is telling us that the words that come out of our mouths are worthless if they do not build up the Kingdom or the Body. That is why Jesus said we will be accountable for every idle word we speak.

Ministering Grace
Not only must our words build up the Kingdom and the Body, they must minister grace unto the hearers, or as the Phillips translation puts it, we must speak words that God can use to help other people. That is the kind of communication that should come from our mouths—words God can use to help other people.

What is one way God helps other people? By using what we say to give them direction for their lives.

In James 3:4-5 he likens the tongue to a rudder on a ship: "Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm [rudder].... Even so the tongue is a little member.... Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!"

Huge ships are given direction by the comparatively little rudder; the same is true in the issues of this life. Groups of people are given direction by one little tongue. It is a powerful member.

God is going to use your tongue, or Satan is going to use your tongue. God is going to use your tongue to direct people and build up the body of Christ, or Satan is going to use your tongue to tear down the body of Christ. It's going to be one or the other.

Other Forms Of Communication
There are other forms of communication as well. The apostle Paul says every sound on the face of this earth has some significance (1 Cor. 14:10). Every sound has a meaning and is a form of communication.

There are a lot of questions my wife, Lynne, can ask me, and I just grunt in response. But she understands me. We all know men have different grunts for different things.

Likewise, my wife communicates verbally with me without using words, and I know what she means. Sometimes she will just say, "Whew," and I know that means "I've had it. I'm going to bed." A lot of our communication is nonverbal.

Nonverbal Communication
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance [How is it able to come that way? Because]...ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
(1 Thess. 1:5-7)
What brought the gospel to the Thessalonians, not in word only, but in the Holy Ghost and in power and in assurance? The nonverbal example of Paul's life was confirmation of the Word he preached. It is a basic Bible premise. Faith without action is dead. There has to be a corresponding action to your words of faith.

The church at Thessalonica followed Paul's example, and as a result, they became examples themselves. Paul lived what he preached; his life was an example to the believers. That example put power into his words and gave assurance to the people affected by his ministry that what he said was right, and it worked.

There are many other forms of nonverbal communication, such as touch or facial expressions. But the principle form of nonverbal communication for a believer is the example you set by the way you live your life.

Additionally, we are to follow the faith of those who have the rule (governing authority) over us—"Whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation" (Heb. 13:7). In other words, if they are practicing what they preach and it is producing fruit in their life, follow their faith.

Following Examples
When we talk about following the example of a man, it is with the knowledge that every man is subject to mistakes. So ultimately we look to Jesus; He is our measuring stick. The Word of God, both living and written, is our measuring stick.

But many baby Christians and immature believers have not developed any spiritual eyesight yet. They can't see Jesus, so they have to have a physical example to follow until they have matured to a point where they can see Jesus. Baby Christians and immature believers are just like children in the natural.

For a natural child, the first seven or eight years of his life, his parents are his life. Everything they do is an example to that child. As the child gets a little older, he starts looking around and getting input from other areas, his peers, TV, books.

It is the same in the realm of the spirit. When you are separated to leadership, you have to be an example because a lot of babes in Christ are going to be looking at you. No matter how often you say, "Look unto Jesus, He's the One," they are going to see your example, and it will impart direction to them.

Are you convinced of the importance of effective communication? Has that been planted firmly in your heart? Verbal and nonverbal communication are vital to your success as a leader. But knowing that still isn't enough; you've got to learn effective communication skills and put them into practice.


Endnotes:
1 Strong, "Greek," entry #4550, p. 64.
2 Strong, "Greek," entry #3619, p. 51.

Source: Positioned For Promotion by Mac Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area and can also be viewed at winnersminute.com. He is also the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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