An Uncomfortable Strategy for Communication and Life

An Uncomfortable Strategy for Communication and Life

December 5, 2018 by

I don’t know about you, but working and serving for so many years in so many different church and ministry spheres can play tricks on my mind and heart.

Am I doing what I do because I still love doing it? Do I love the people I am serving and serving with? Do I know or remember what it’s like to be an outsider? Working behind the scenes so much, how long has it been since I have witnessed true transformation in someone’s life? Am I seeing too many insiders transform from followers of Jesus to fall away-ers of Jesus? As Alan Briggs has questioned, has my “passion dissipated into skepticism [and given] birth to cynicism? Or as Larry Osborne suggests in his book Lead Like A Shepherd, am I functioning more like a hired hand (a career) or a care-filled sheep herder (a calling)?

Don’t Get Too Comfortable

One of my life struggles has been to live and work in environments that force me not to get too comfortable. I am continually amazed at how natural it is for me to want to be around people like me and I am living proof of human nature’s pull toward what is familiar, known, and desired. Do you find yourself going to cafes and shops that feel like your style? Are you eating at places with food that tastes familiar? Do your friends make about the same amount of money as you do? Does your neighborhood feel safe? Are you spending too much time with people who speak the same “language”? Are you reading the same things?

Guilty as charged.

And so I fight.

I fight what feels right. I fight what feels normal. I fight what feels good.

Not because I am a glutton for punishment, but because I don’t want to become numb.

Numb to what Jesus wants to do in me and through me.
Numb to what the Holy Spirit is nudging me toward.
Numb to where God is at work.

3 Ways I’m Pushing Myself

Here are three groups of people I am trying to spend more time with.

  1. People not like me: You’ll know you’re spending time with people not like you when feel like the odd one out, when your jokes don’t work all the time, and when people look at you like an outsider.
  2. People who don’t like me: You’ll know you’re around people who don’t like you when your convictions don’t feel valued, when your ideas are disregarded, and you feel ignored.
  3. People I don’t like: You’ll know you’re around people you don’t like because, well, there a lot of people you don’t like.

The good news for all three of these categories is that they apply both to the people you work with and the people you do life with! So bonus points for you if you’re working in a church or ministry and you can check all these boxes.

God’s Communication Strategy

What does all of this have to do with church communication?

Everything.

God’s best communication strategy was to send Jesus to live with us. People not like Jesus. People who don’t like Jesus. People who Jesus didn’t like a whole lot (church people anyone?).

By living and serving among us, Jesus showed us what love is all about. And we’ve been compelled by such amazing love ever since.

I still struggle and wrestle with all of my doubts and skepticisms. And with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can choose to live and serve among the very people Jesus did, compelling people by the good news that love moved in.

Post By:

Brad Abare


Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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