When discussion turns to the matter of communicating the church's message (the churchspeak is "use of the social means of communication"), too often the occasion becomes just one more opportunity to tee off on the messenger.
Rarely do church leaders reflect on their own roles and what they may need to do to be more effective communicators.
Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas took a refreshingly different tack in a speech last month during a meeting in Philadelphia of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, which this year is focusing on communication.
It's a fairly lengthy speech, but worth the time, and worth especially getting to his "What we can do" list at the end.
Early in his talk, Kicanas discusses his love of theater and draws five "ingredients" necessary for effective communication:
-- Those telling the story must themselves be taken up by it;
-- The church's message is best communicated succinctly with emotion and color, and in concrete language people understand and that engages them;