Thursday, June 15, 2006

What Every Communicator Wants You To Know

Okay, I can't speak for all communicators, but I can speak for myself. So here are some things to remember the next time you're listening to a message.
  • Make eye contact with me. It's imortant. When I see eyes wandering I'm fairly certain I've lost you.
  • You're body language is big. A smile or nod can go a long way in communicating, "I'm with ya preacher. I'm feeling ya. This is good stuff."
  • Save the chat session for later. Of course there are exceptions, but when I see chatter taking place I know you're not listening to me.
  • Leave Junior in the nursery. This is my pet peeve and you may not agree with me [my wife never did on this particular issue]. But if you don't agree with me, I would venture to say that you've never stood in front of an audience and tried to hold their full attention with a baby [or two...or three...or four] in the house. I understand there is a transition time after junior is born in which mom doesn't want him around other babies and in a nursery type environment. That's fine. A baby who sleeps in a carrier is not the problem. It's when junior gets active and wants to jump around on mom's lap that a problem arises. Please understand, he can be completely silent and still make quite a disturbance. Again, if you could only see what I see.
  • Ignore the baby in front of you. If mom and dad fail to observe the above rule, try your best not to make faces at Junior. This just makes things worse and tells me that you're totally distracted. I know the baby is stinkin' cute but I'm sure mom would let you hold it after service if you asked nicely.
  • Potty before we get started. Again, there are legit emergencies and I would never want you to wet yourself, but come on. Most of us have better bladder control than that.
  • Stay with me until the very end. So often, people sense the message is coming to an end and they are putting their bible away, reaching for their purse, etc. Hang with me.

I may add to this list in the futre but thanks for listening. I feel better now. And to all my fellow preachers - feel free to add to this list.


Anonymous said...

As a muscian I would like to add one more, a huge pet peeve of mine...
If your church still has offertory music or during communion for that matter; sit still and hush ( Maybe you could pray) If you don't talk to your neighbor then they won't talk to you! It's very bothersome to here chit chat behind you while your trying to participate in the church service.

Anonymous said...

I think you have been very honest and fair, allowing all of us to understand where the preacher/speaker is coming from. Glad you shared, what is common sense, does not mean, we 'think'. Greatly appreciated Chad, and I will work on all issues. Aunt Sandi

Anonymous said...

An explanation of the choosing of the seat in church on Sunday morning.

As I enter the sanctuary, if I'm on time which sometimes I have trouble with, I carefully look around. For some reason, I prefer the left side of the chuch and that stems from WAYYY back in my youth so its pretty much engrained to sit there. As my eyes wonder over the people on the left hand side I see a few folks with a baby, "nope not going to sit there," I say to myself. My eyes wonder a little further forward, "nope...not going to sit there, they are always talking and gigglin," so my eye go even more forward and I realize I've found myself about two or three rows back from the front. "Well this looks like a good spot," I think to myself. I have a seat and pray that anyone who chooses to sit next to me is someone that actually comes to church to be blessed by not only the singing but the preaching as well.

Chad, your not the only one who feels this way. A few of the audience members do as well. You know what my concern is...and I think this ALL the time...I'm afraid that the Holy Spirit could be working in the heart of someone and they get distracted by chattering in front of them about a recipe or what someone said. The truth is, it annoys me to no end! Now don't get me wrong, I've whispered in church during a sermon before...but as I've gotten older, I've realized the importance of LISTENING....not just hearing but listening.

God Bless you for having the GUTS to actually say something about this issue!

Evan said...

Chad, my man, you must be a mind-reader because you took the words right out of my mouth.

I would again stress the following:

* The nursery is there for a reason. You're not any more "spiritual" because your kid is w/ you in the sanctuary. And it does NO ONE any good whatsoever by keeping him/her in the sanctuary while they throw a fit. I've found that this happens most often during communion, which gets me to thinking (but I won't get into what I'm thinking).

* When you think the sermon is nearing its end, sit there like an adult and pay attention. The Baptists will always beat us to lunch anyway, so there's no need to hurry up and get out :).

* Ladies, please dress appropriately. This suggestion is on behalf of all men in the crowd--not just the preacher.

* Say a prayer for me. Just before I walk up to the stage, or as I'm organizing things at the beginning, ask for the Spirit of God to speak what needs to be spoken.

Anonymous said...

As a member of Antioch, I completely agree with the baby issue. It seems to be worse lately. You made many request to the members, may I make one to you as the minister?

I need a few seconds of your time. Sometimes, I feel very unimportant. I know that you are so busy and I do appreciate that. I miss you standing at the door after the service is over. Yeah, you may be out there on the sidewalk but you are nearly impossible to get to. I would like to be an encourager to you too. I would like to shake your hand and give/receive encouraging words. Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

Boy am I glad you finally said something about the little ones in church..This past sunday was an example..the baby cried,and made his little baby nosies, but the mother just sat there, I know it was bothering the ladies sitting next to her..cause it bothered finally after about half an hour the lady took her child to the nursery..Dont get me wrong I love children but that is why we have a nursery...