LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

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LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Admin on Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:05 pm

Post your 250-word response to "Communicating for a Change."
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Katie Averitt: Leadership Response

Post by Katie A on Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:32 pm

The book, “Communicating for a Change,” by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones is very interesting narrative that demonstrates how to effectively deliver an interesting message while public speaking. The book starts off with the main character, a pastor, being unfulfilled by his ability to capture the attention of his congregation. He comes into contact with a truck driver who completely changes his understanding of what it means to communicate well while public speaking. There’s a lot that I took away from this book. Our goal should shape what and how we communicate. Our goal in communicating the gospel should always be life change. I feel like it can be easy sometimes to get lost in a deep theological debate or teaching and forget why we’re discussing it to begin with. The reason we do what we do is to know God better, and to bring the people in our lives to a better understanding of him as well.
The authors of this book also discuss a one point message. “It is essential for the communicator to know the answer to two questions: what is the one thing I want my audience to know? What do I want them to do about it?” Something that I feel as though a lot of churches today are lacking is a call to respond. My biggest fear in ministry would be leading a group of people who are just there to warm seats, and passively get filled up by whatever the pastor says and not do anything about it. Fortunately with my involvement in the Assemblies of God and in XA I've been exposed to bodies of believers who take action after they hear the word of God. Because of this and what I've read in this book I'm seeing how important it is to challenge our congregation and call them to do something.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Bethany Hutson on Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:57 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Communicating for a Change."

Andy Stanley and Lane Jones talk about the importance of engaging and communicating with audiences while teaching and preaching. The authors start out with a story about a preacher in search of a break through in his preaching on Sunday mornings. He meets a truck driving and together they discover several truths. These truths include determining a goal, picking a point, creating a map, internalizing the message, engaging the audience, and finding your voice. There were several truths that stuck out to me. One of them was determining a goal and in your goal having those listen and have the bible change them. It is important that the living word change us and that we are moved to take action and change. Another important truth for me was creating a map to relate to the audience. The map included ME, WE, GOD, YOU, WE or orientation, identification, illumination, application, inspiration. This map is a way to engage the audience, connect to them, and God. The map also forms a relationship with the audience and allows you to share your story and main point. After reading “Communicating for a Change”, preaching and teaching seems less daunting. Being in education public speaking was all about effective communication and relaying several points. However, this book simplifies communicating the Gospel so that change happens. When I think about pastors in my life, I have seen various formats and styles of preaching. It is interesting how much time a preparation pastors take and how flexible they are in allowing the Holy Spirit to move during a sermon or lesson.
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Jacob Gulka: Leadership Response

Post by Jacob Gulka on Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:10 am

I feel as I write this that I should make one point as the authors spoke of.  That would be pretty funny and I’ll maybe do that…or not.  
At first when reading this I thought it was going to be like reading a speech class textbook but it was insanely practical as opposed to academic.  My biggest practical takeaway from this book was my struggle with my goal of why I am communicating.  Whether I am teaching the Bible to people or teaching the people the Bible, I loved how the author later distilled it down to teaching people how to live a life that reflects the values, principles and truths of the Bible.  That greatly shook my world!
In my background I was given thorough expository preaching, verse-by-verse.  I probably fit in the category of teaching the Bible to people.  This style wasn’t wrong it was just the fact that I thought it was the only credible mindset for teaching.  Sometimes things would seem like a college lecture to students for a test as opposed to a Sunday service.  However, as Andy Stanley kept emphasizing the goal for changed lives and building your sermon around one point with a “map”, I felt inspired to perhaps prepare sermons in that style for the future.  
My general takeaway is that I have a great tool-belt now of how to interact with my audience as opposed to lecturing them.  How as a communicator I get personal and take those receiving the message on a journey, making sure they are with me before I leave, making the message stick with them as opposed to bunch of points that not even I can remember.  I greatly enjoyed the pragmatism of this book.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by ZachAmick on Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:45 pm

The approach to preaching presented in Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley is very interesting and I think probably helpful for communicating in any station or circumstance. I have heard very few things about Andy Stanley before reading this book, all I knew was that he is a mega-church pastor and has written some books with mixed reviews. I decided to watch a few of his sermons online after reading this book to see if he preaches what he preaches (practices what he writes). After watching a few sermons, I realized that I have not heard anybody preach in this way before.
I found it strange how defensive Andy seemed in his writing. Several times in the story and in his explanation he seemed to go out of his way to defend his position against a perceived criticism. This seems strange to me since I don’t have a very extensive church background and no seminary training. My guess as to why he is defensive is because of his unique approach specifically having a one-point sermon. Even if this does mean he is challenging the status quo, nobody would be reading this book if they weren’t interested and by becoming defensive about his technique he opens speculation as to what is weak that must be defended.
I agree with him that having one idea to walk away with is far more memorable and easier to apply than many. I also agree that presenting information as a story has a lot of benefits for both speaker and the audience. What I don’t agree with is his goal. While life change seems admirable, practical and even beneficial, I am hesitant to agree that that is the most important thing that should happen from the pulpit. I think that his goal sounds a bit like manipulation, with which I am sure he would disagree. I also think that placing our behavior and ability to modify it in such a central role is inappropriate. If the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then why wouldn’t that be the goal of our sermons? God does not love us because we change, He does not love us for how devoted we are to Him, He does not love us because of our works. God loves us because God is love. Yes, we should encourage one another to live lives holy and dedicated to God and we should help others along on that journey. However, life change shouldn’t be the main purpose of our ministry or our preaching, glorifying God should be.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by hstrelow on Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:02 pm

The book Communicating for a Change was extremely interesting and engaging. I am relieved at how well this book communicated communication! Starting with a story helped me picture this idea of communication better than a purely informational text. it served as an excellent map to communication in ministry as well as other avenues of life. The most compelling part of the book was the section on Internalizing the Message. I began to think of every sermon I have heard that made an impact on me. Looking back, I remember feeling the teacher's passion for what they spoke. I knew that, to him or her, this was the most important thing they could be telling me right now. I picture them sitting in front of their map and watching their head knowledge sink into the depths of their soul as they truly soak in the heart of God. I love that passion is infectious. Any time I have ever heard someone talk with zeal about something, I have gained a love for that with them. Imagine if we master this in ministry! We would develop a deep passion for the Lord that is infectious-- a true light to people around us. I look forward to implementing this in ministry as well as teaching in the classroom next year.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Amanda Middleton on Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:20 pm

This book was not what I expected. I thought the first half was a little weird. It was an easy read but I wish the authors would have stuck to one type of writing and not split the book into two parts. It felt a little repetitive by the time I got to part two.
Knowing the title, "Communicating for a Change", I assumed the book was about communication as a team leader to create change and impact those that are following you. I guess technically that's kind of what this book was about but I've never associated preaching with "communicating". Preaching to me has always been most closely associated with the role of a college professor, and they are not always good at communicating.
I think it's important that preachers know how to communicate their material in a way that is both easy to understand and inspiring. I think the method used in this book is good for thematic preaching, especially the note to only make one point. A lot of times a themed sermon has so many different points that you don't remember what the sermon was actually about. When a sermon only has one central point, there's no need for fill-in-the-blanks because you should remember if you were paying attention.
I appreciate that the authors note that this isn't the only way to structure your sermons, there are many other good ways. It's good that they mention this because this method would not work for exegetical preaching.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Brenton Malnofski on Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:20 am

In Communicating for a Change, authors Andy Stanley and Lane Jones detail how an evangelist can reach people more effectively. Part one of the book features a fictional lengthy discussion between two men, as one advises the other, and gives him tips on how to be more engaging with a church crowd. The advice is easily applicable to any kind of evangelism or public presentation. First of all, keep the message simple and straightforward. Don’t spread the message thin with too many unnecessary details or hefty content. Being disciplined and taking one’s time with delivering messages will likely be better for the congregation.
Another good tip comes when the men talk to a standup comedian. He makes the connection between that profession and ministry. Both are centered on convincing people that you are worth listening to. Injecting messages with humor might help, but the most important thing is to make a quick connection with the audience. That could be done with something topical, or something personal. Whatever the case may be, guiding the crowd into and through the message is key. The analogy of using a car’s turn signal is used quite appropriately. If the audience doesn’t understand where you’re headed, they’ll smack their heads against the window.
Finding one’s voice is also emphasized. In the book, the advisor tells the pastor that one changes every time they get behind a pulpit. “Being yourself” might sound like a cliché, but it’s an honest approach for ministry, since it is so personal already. Outlining how you can deliver a message will help to define an identity, not only for yourself, but also your congregation.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Caleb Nally on Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:54 pm

I thought the book "Communicating for a Change" was a very useful and practical guide in preparing to speak to a congregation. I think so often before we speak we worry about how it will land. We worry if we will present our material well enough and if we will get the impact that we want. What is important about this book is how Andy Stanley and Lane Jones explain how this feeling is normal but also something that shouldn't be a part of our mindset when preparing our material. That when we define success we shouldn't be focused on ourselves and how we did but we should focus on our people and how their lives are being shaped. I enjoyed the story he shared in chapter 11 about how he spoke to a man right before he went out to deliver his message and said "How would you communicate this message if your eighteen-year old son had made up his mind to walk away from everything you have taught him... unless he had a compelling reason not to? Because for somebody's son out there this may be his last chance." This thought stuck out to me because it completely flipped the script from worrying about yourself and how you will do to being burdened by your congregation and what is afflicting them. When the focus is placed on the people listening rather than the speaker it changes the whole mood of why you are speaking. I believe this book helps to bring the focus to the people listening and how to best communicate with them. Overall I would say this book is very practical and has a helpful guide in preparing what to say.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by ryanelliff on Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:25 pm

I really enjoyed reading this book! I wish more books used this format of creating a story to illustrate real-world application of the content that is being presented. The story is about a pastor named Ray. He is struggling with connecting with his congregation during his sermons and is facing almost certain burnout. He meets a very successful businessman and then embarks on an unexpected journey where he learns from a truck driving evangelist how to implement seven imperatives (determine your goal, pick a point, create a map, internalize your message, engage your audience, find your voice and start all over). Many of these imperatives are game changers for Ray and he vows to do his best to put them to practice in his ministry. Following the narrative, the book goes on the explain each of the imperatives in further detail.

I feel like a relate to the character Ray in some ways. I am not a preacher, but I have had some experience speaking/preaching in a church setting. I tend to over explain things and put too many ideas into a message, so when they talked about the "See Rock City Trap" in the pick a point imperative, it hit home. If I'm getting distracted, how much more so are the people listening to me. It's not a tape recording that can be rewound. If they miss it - they miss it. This is one of the major takeaways for me from this book. The other one that really struck a chord with me is the "create a map" imperative. Most of my messages that I have preached before have been randomly organized and did not follow any sort of "map". So who knows how effective they really were. This book introduces the model of "ME-WE-GOD-YOU-WE" and I really like the idea of implementing it going forward. I already do a decent job of introducing myself, but that about it. From there if I can find a way to create tension, showing what God says about it, challenge people and then presenting the application, I feel like I would be so much more successful at clearly communicating my heart and what God has spoken to me.
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Stephen Averitt Communicating for a Change

Post by S.h.ave on Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:56 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Communicating for a Change."

Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones was an incredible read. I loved that the first half of the book was in story format; the reading flowed so well and kept me very engaged. It was one of the most pleasant reads I've had in a long time.

I would say that the most intriguing thing from book was the idea of a one-point sermon. I think the majority of preachers I've heard in my day do not preach from this type of format. That is probably why it was so interesting: If there is only one thing that you are preaching about, then you only have one thing to remember, whether you're are preaching or listening. I think that is incredible and ground-breaking. So many times have I left church and not remembered the sermon. Other times I have kept sermon notes for months so that I could review certain points that I forgot from a sermon. It is incredible to me that such a format allows for good preaching and actually is easier.

While I was reading, I was thinking in my head of one liners, and I realized they carry so much more weight than a three-point sermon ever could. I think this is great. Additionally, at IU Chi Alpha, I think one of our attempts at this is to preach a truism. And I think that could be effective. That being said, even in XA, I feel like the one-point sermon is not one that I hear often. It still might be a 3-point sermon or a manuscript. I am very excited about the idea of using such an easy format and the help it will bring to the listeners!
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Carson Bledsoe on Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:06 pm

Before actually reading this book, I was not at all excited for it. The title seemed boring and I couldn’t imagine how the cover related to leadership or communication. With that being said, it took me no time at all to actually begin enjoying Stanley and Jone’s book. The idea of formulating a parable to then expound upon later I found really useful, intriguing, and engaging. I especially appreciated that just as Andy Stanley makes special note of keeping things to one point in a sermon because listeners won’t remember more than that, he made sure that each chapter of his could be simplified and kept all tips as simple as possible.

The biggest thing that I took away from this book was to have a clear goal of what you are wanting your audience to get. Where are you wanting to take them? I can see in the past where I have perhaps had an idea of where I wanted to take my core group members or an audience, but because I did not firmly flesh it out beforehand, my audience was left confused and my delivery muddled. By picking just one point that I really want my audience to know and making sure I understand why I want them to know it, I ensure my delivery is smooth and that the audience actually understands what I’m trying to say (and that I understand what I am trying to say). All in all this book gave me a lot of really useful tools for speaking that has made me more excited to jump back into core group.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Marlou Peters on Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:10 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Communicating for a Change."

This book was very interesting, and I have learned a lot. I really enjoyed that it started off has a story. It helped me to be engaged and to keep my attention. It was also very easy to read so I was able to almost understand everything.

This book had a lot of good tips that I can use when I preach at Ivy Tech. I never really knew how to preach, but this book gave me some good insight.

It helped me to go through all the imperatives. It took me step by step basically on how to write a sermon. That was very helpful for me and to have guideline to use when I write a sermon. The ME-WE-GOD-YOU-WE was helpful to even use while preaching. I agree that a sermon really needs to be in your heart if you want to preach. It is just not good if you read every single word the audience is not going to believe any word that you are saying. But I think if you use this guideline during a sermon it is easy to think about where you should go in case you forgot.

I never heard of an one point message. I am used to a three point message. So I am trying to figure out if an one point message is the way to go for me. I do want to have my own preaching style and not just what I am used to. It is important that the point will be said multiple times so people will not forget what point you are trying to make.
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Alicia Ostermeyer: Response

Post by Alicia.O. on Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:38 am

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Communicating for a Change."

I really appreciated the creativity of "Communicating for a Change", not only was the story portion a nice change of pace from my typical reads. While I did feel the story was cheesy,I felt like the main points were easy to understand. Ray is a pastor who is struggling to preach content that keeps his congregation connected. In desperation for success he reaches out to his successful business friend who has the idea to send Ray out to his friend Will, who is a truck driving evangelist. Will teaches Ray to determine his goal, pick a point, create a map, internalize his message, engage his audience, and to find his voice and start all over when it comes to preaching to his congregation.

Since I have little to no preaching experience I felt like there were parts of this book that were hard to relate to or understand the importance of. That being said I highly value strong communication skills and can see myself reading this book again in the future to drive these points home. I appreciate that the second part of the book brought the story into a bigger picture making it not feel like there is one correct way to preach. I think I still have yet to discover my speaker style, strengths, and weaknesses and once I understand that I'll be able to better visualize how the seven imperatives fit in.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Kolten Turner on Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:20 pm

Ultimately, Communicating for a Change was an easy to read and understand kind of book. However, it was very one track mind with little to no wiggle room on the basis of preaching. I'd agree with the book. The ME WE GOD YOU WE is definitely a really good approach to get ones attention and keep it for the duration of a message. However, with this approach I would fear taking in a lot messages that were very surface level. Sometimes it's better for us to exegete the scriptures in order to understand passages that we may have never understood correctly before. When done properly I'm sure the method described in the book does its job and works to the best of its ability. I tend to struggle with the overconfidence of the authors. I've been through a series with Andy Stanley and while I remember liking the series, I couldn't tell you what any of his messages were about. I'm a firm believer in practicing what you preach and if he was, shouldn't I be able to remember something? Maybe I'm being too harsh on them. The book was enlightening. I definitely think I'll try some sort of hybrid of their method for my core group. God knows those guys need engaged otherwise their minds drift off into the rafters.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by cjgalyen on Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:15 pm

Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley and Lane Jones goes into leadership as it relates to communication. The book begins with a story of a pastor learning how to communicate to his congregation from a truck driver. The second half of the book goes more in depth on the 7 points and teaches how to effectively apply each one. There were many things that stuck out to me from this book. First, I liked the first and seconds points: Determine Your Goal and Pick a Point. It helped me see that I cannot be an effective communicator if I don't know where I am going first. I can't just shoot from the hip if I'm trying to get a point across. Also, I have the tendency to be overly excited about a lesson or what God is teaching me. When it would be more powerful to stick to one point so people can remember, I can hit them with multiple points that no one remembers. Lastly, one section of this book stood at the most to me. It was in the section that talks about a "Map to Remember". The Pastor (Ray) asks Willy the truck driver why he hasn't mentioned much about God and if everything that he has been teaching has relied on human effort. Willy responds that the most important time you spend developing a message is the time that is spend prayerfully searching the heart of God and His Word for the point. But, once God has done His part, we have to do our part. He goes on to say that too many preachers hide behind the excuse that it is up to the Holy Spirit to apply the message to the heart of the hearer and then not give the Holy Spirit anything to work with. To me that is incredibly powerful because it goes into the relationship of man and God in ministry. God divinely teaches me and shows me understanding of Scripture and His heart. But I need to apply work and application in order for the Spirit to move through me to be an effective communicator of God's Heart. I really liked this book.
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Re: LEADERSHIP RESPONSES

Post by Jessica Rodriguez on Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:18 pm

Admin wrote:Post your 250-word response to "Communicating for a Change."

At first, reading through this book, I didn’t understand Ray’s frustrations with preaching or his struggle. I still don’t understand it because I’ve never preached before, but as Will explained his 7 imperatives I began to understand how complicated preaching can be. I feel a little overwhelmed when thinking about all of the things I need to be intentional about when communicating a “sermon.” But, it is good to know that the one point I am trying to make will simplify things. At first, I didn’t agree with the author about the other two preaching styles of teaching the Bible to people and teaching people the Bible. I’ve always thought that those two approaches were enough. Let the Bible speak for itself. I’ve seen pastors practice these two styles. But I began to recognize that I’ve also benefited greatly from pastors who have taken me along a journey with them into their life and into the scripture, like this book is suggesting. One thing the ME, WE, GOD, YOU, WE approach will teach me is how to cut unnecessary information and details out. The author talked about a lot of pastors who are just trying to fill time and who include way too many points and information. I could see that being me if I were to try to give a sermon without other instruction. In general, I struggle with including too much information, in my newsletters and papers, etc. I’m excited to learn how to cut out the clutter, make a map that will keep me on track, and to include people in the journey rather than preaching at them.
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