I have never met a pastor who is serious about both his ministry and personal development who doesn’t also want to enhance His communication skills. He knows that when he speaks effectively, lives are changed and that impact is often eternal.
Many, however, overlook three things that hinder one's development. Once you understand these hurdles, you’ll know what to do about them.
- Not enough Time Spent on Sermon Preparation.
that the apostle Paul urged his young disciple, Timothy: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
A diligent worker takes the time to study carefully God’s Word for a well-communicated message. One cannot explain what the Scriptures mean to people of today until he is certain what it meant to the original audience.
These messages do not fall together overnight. They take a great deal of time. Without disciplined time management, a pastor’s message will suffer. It doesn’t take a listener very long to determine if the speaker gave the message minutes or hours of preparation.
- Limited Teachability.
Speakers are often better at teaching others than they are at being taught. Regardless of how effective a communicator is, there is always an area (or areas) where he can improve. Unfortunately, teachability is often not a strength of communicators.
They fail to remember: “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid” (Prov. 12:1).
I've had more than one person say about a particular church leader, "He is a good speaker. If he would only work on this one area, he would be so much better."
Sadly, though, the critics often add, "He is just not very teachable.” Sometimes they have even added, "Others have tried to correct him, and it did not go well."
There are no perfect speakers. Refusing to listen and learn can be a serious obstacle to improving communication skills.
- Speaking only to the spiritually mature.
To be an effective communicator, one must not only know the Scriptures, but also his audience. Unfortunately, when a speaker ignores his audience make-up, he often alienates certain groups. Although one wishes the entire audience were spiritually mature, they often represent only a small fraction of the entire group. If one puts truth in a clear, relatable format, the least mature will benefit and the more spiritually mature will appreciate the simplicity. Deciding who makes up the majority of your audience helps you speak to the many, not to the few.
The question is never about how good of a communicator you are, but rather how good of a communicator you are becoming. Watching out for these three barriers will help you grow.