Communicating with Clarity- USE PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES

Ken is a youth worker I met whose gift is NOT speaking. Ken would readily admit this if you asked him. His gifts are much more relational (compassion, hospitality, etc.) But for some reason, Ken insists on trying to write his own talks week after week and write his own small group questions.
Sadly, his talks are as boring as an insurance seminar and his small group questions are weak.
Ken isn’t a bad guy just because speaking and developing content isn’t his gift… Ken just needs to be willing to enlist some help.
Seek Help
For the last couple weeks in this blog I’ve been writing about how to communicate to young people in a way that’s memorable and clear. Today I’m going to wrap up the discussion with my final thoughts, simply imploring, don’t be afraid to get help!
I don’t know why this is even a problem for some. The only culprit I can even fathom is “pride.” But for some reason, bad speakers will often cling on to the responsibility of speaking or developing discussion material every week even though their material really stinks!
Before you get mad at me for being so blunt and even referring to some as “bad speakers,” I encourage you to read my post a few days ago about only USING GIFTED COMMUNICATORS. In this post I talk about the simple Biblical truth of people using their gifts instead of trying to force something that’s not their strength. The plain fact is, some people are not gifted in the area of speaking or developing content.
Maybe these people don’t know their material stinks. Maybe they think that it’s part of their job and if they don’t do it themselves, they’re done. Regardless, people like Ken who don’t have the gift of speaking or developing content often keep at it instead of enlisting help from someone gifted in that area.
Don’t do it!
Allow me to be the Simon Cowell in your life right now, if that’s what it takes. If speaking and writing isn’t your gift, stop speaking and developing your own content. Enlist some help.
Allow me to quickly clarify. In the last couple weeks we discussed the fact that some people are “stuck” in a speaking role every week. They might be the only one who stepped up to the challenge and frankly, no one else will do it. I advised this person to try several things:
          Talking shorter
          Using small group questions
These simple tools can help most of us, even those without the gift of communication, communicate with better clarity.
So let me add one final tool to the list: Use professional resources for your speaking and small group content.
Use Professional Resources
Let’s go back to Ken. Ken knows that speaking isn’t his gift, yet he speaks and writes his own content every week.
Why?
If Ken has access to books and/or is connected to the web, he has a cornucopia of content at his fingertips. Ken shouldn’t be afraid to use them. The Kens of this world should stop trying to re-invent the wheel. Use ready-made resources developed by those with the gift of speaking and writing.
I’m going to suggest a couple of resources that I’ve used, then I’m going to ask you all to chime in with your suggestions of what resources and curriculum you have used with great results.
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU DEVELOP YOUR SPEAKING/TEACHING:
Communicating for a Change– by Andy Stanley
RESOURCES WITH READY-MADE TALKS/SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:
In my blog about USING SMALL GROUP TIME I talked about several great free resources with small group discussion questions on our website. Be sure to check those out. In addition, try these:
10-Minute Talks– by Jonathan McKee (this material is good, even though the author is a nerd)
Most any video curriculum from Doug Fields like Love out Loud
There’s just a few. Now… WHAT RESOURCES HAVE HELPED YOU?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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5 Responses to Communicating with Clarity- USE PROFESSIONAL RESOURCES

  1. Trevor says:

    Jonathan,
    I have some teaching resources on my site that many youth pastors have told me are helpful. Thanks for calling attention to the fact that we all need a little help when it comes to “communicating with clarity.”

  2. Rachel Rauh says:

    We use “Life hurts god heals” and Chad Daniel “youth bites”, we also like to have people come give thier testimonies once in a while to spice it up.

  3. James Hooper says:

    XP3 by Orange
    Live by SYM

    I write my own messages but use these for our small group material.

  4. Patrick Garrett says:

    Jon; Beside’s a shameless plug for your site and “10 Minutes” book, the other resource that has helped was Podcast 10 [sure miss those; it’s been over a year]with Duffy and the book he co-authored with Doug Fields called Speaking to Teenagers.
    That’s my suggestion!

  5. John Fearnow says:

    Your suggestion of Robinson’s book BIBLICAL PREACHING was dead on. It is a great book that I have had since attending Cincinnati Christian University.
    Also, I suggest using video clips and/or movies in place of talking for those who struggle. When speaking of evangelism, there are many great movies, blogs, and articles located on the site everyschool.com.