church communications

Less Clutter, Less Noise: 15) Getting From Here to There

Written by Lisa Hamilton

beesI began the task of becoming “relational” much to my own chagrin. I am by nature an introvert in an extroverted environment, so any success in my job(s) is dependent on the relational component. As Kem starts out by clueing us to in chapter 15, titled “Getting from Here to There,” conversations are a necessary part of any job, whether your job is in communications or not. When she states “don’t expect to see organizational or relational change anytime soon” if you don’t allow the time in your schedule for conversations, she’s not exaggerating! I cannot overstate the changes I’ve seen in my job over the last year when I have made time and saved up the energy to invest in relationships. A short conversation in the hall, the well placed encouragement that shows you pay attention, showing interest in the work and projects of others, all work together to build those relationships that are so necessary to the success of your work.

I picked up this book at a conference of Kem’s that I attended. At the time, communicating was the last thing on my mind. I was in a job that I loved, paving new roads for organization within the systems of weekend programming. God definitely has a sense of humor! I am now the communications director and it’s an interesting ride. I have found that for the time I spend pouring into relationships, the benefits are greater than I ever imagine. We “Lead Change” (pg 230) through those relationships. And we make change by starting (pg 232) one step, one task, one goal at a time. The “job” of communicating can be huge; the changes needed vast, but I submit to you that it all happens by putting one foot in front of the other. Invest in one relationship a day… or start with one a week. Set a goal you can handle and ramp it up from there.

Questions to respond to:

1. Who are the top 5 people you need to build relationships with?

2. What steps will you take to building these relationships or how do you pay more attention to these relationships?

14) Bring the glue <– Less Clutter, Less Noise –>  Wrap-up) It All Boils Down to 2 Questions

About the author

Lisa Hamilton

Communication, Marketing & Weekend Services Director at Pantano Christian Church in Tucson, AZ. Proud mother to 3 brilliant children! Thrilled to be making a difference one life at a time through my work and ministry as a worship leader. I know God has me in the right place at the right time...just trying to do it all to the best of my ability!


  • Thanks for the great post. As one who has a very introverted side I too understand the need to consciously communicate. With compassion for people, I have found personal supportive communication to be much easier than task oriented conversation. As a leader I have found I can and do communicate despite my introversion and it is definitely through the coversations that the doors open best for me to effect change. As one now responsible to be a follower (primarily), I miss leading change. I find I am not as tolerant of being walked over and that I handle it by initiating conversation. God sure did make us to need relationship to be healthy and whole. Can't imagine why I used to think communication would happen by osmosis. Communication without conversation – now there was a disfunctional belief.

    • One of the things that I've found to be true is that people will be more open to allow you to speak into their interests if you show interest and give of yourself to them. It also allows you to speak knowledgeably when necessary. It's just plain smart to "hold your friends close and your enemies closer" so to speak. Now, I'm not referring to my colleagues as enemies, but rather I know who will take my opinion easily and who wants to argue with me at every turn. If I make the extra effort to give them buy in (or the appearance of buy in), it smooths the way for when the going gets really rough!

  • Great reminder. Someone told me once to sit down and write 3 thank you notes, make 3 phone calls, and say thanks to 3 people in person per week. Thats less than one of each per day, but the rewards are great. I had gotten out of the habit but this is a great reminder, and a great day, to begin again.

  • Our staff prays each week for our congregation (we go down the list in alpha order). We make phone calls and stop people in halls and ask them if they have specific prayer requests. It is amazing the great conversations that we have been having with our members. Sometimes we've been able to guide people through a change that has happened in the church or in their family life.

  • It's so hard for me as a pastor to remember these small but important things. The tough thing is that when we don't do them, we don't necessarily notice the harm we do. But when I finally take the time to communicate in these ways, I've been amazed at the doors that open up for effective ministry. Thanks for the reminder.

  • I love this chapter because it is so true and so easily shared with pretty much anyone for their own personal ministry!

    In response to the first discussion question, I have started to apply it in my home first. (we are told to get our house in order if we are to be leaders in the church, right?). Family life can become so ingrained in routines and this I realize also is true about our conversations. So I have been taking the extra minute to notice more and ask a question or two of my kids. The prompts have opened up topics that we normally "don't have time for" usually so they aren't raised. Being more specific with my wife instead of the usual, How was your day? Type generic interaction is another point I am trying to follow through more on.

    I find simply asking a question or two gets people going. It has made me realize that people really want to be heard. And so many times there really aren't many people around to just listen and respond in authentic ways.

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