“Speak Human Please” by Charles Lee

“Speak Human Please” by Charles Lee:

“During a leadership meeting last year at Mosaic, I heard Erwin McManus share about the inability of many faith leaders to “speak human.” He was referencing the lack of ability in many faith leaders to speak in a way that could be understood by those outside of their particular faith context.

I think there is a principle here that is true of any profession or group/tribe. Whether you’re leading an organization, business, or movement, it’s vitally important to develop the ability to communicate well with those who may not be familiar with your vernacular or glossary….

Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Would someone outside of our organization or business really understand our language and mission?
  • Do you spend intentional time developing and choosing words that build bridges and creates access to those on the “outside”?
  • Why do you use the words you do and who is it intended for? Think layers and context.

For the rest of Charles Lee’s article, go to http://www.charlestlee.com/business.

Showing 2 comments
  • Daniel

    Ha! you’re acting as if we ourselves understand the language many of our “faith leaders” use. Every explain to someone what the GLORY of God is? Ever try to explain it to yourself? It’s harder than we think! Now what happens when a pastor or preacher says, ” all i want is to bask in God’s glory…” What the heck?!! See what i mean?

    Saying that this is a phenominon that occurs in any company or group/tribe makes it seem normal and less harmful than it really is.

  • Nathan

    Interestingly, Jesus both followed this principle and didn’t. He told stories about the Kingdom of God in a way that people could relate to (stories of farmers and widows and servants and masters), but he didn’t always explain them, at least not up front. His stories raised questions, and those who were curious stuck around later for the answers.

    JJ Abrams talks about how the power of mystery is critical to good storytelling. A good mystery hooks an audience in, gets them to pay attention and ask questions, and sustains and maintains their interest.

    It feels like an awful lot of Christians either dumb down the message, or use such irrelevant language that no one gets what they’re talking about. I wonder if a better question for Christians might be, does the language we use get people to ask questions? Are people more curious or less curious after they meet us?

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