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Posts tagged ‘Communication’

Duplicitous Atiku Commends Jonathan On 2nd Niger Bridge, knowing full well that it is a scam.


Former Vice President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, said, Monday, that the flag off of the construction of the second Niger Bridge by President Goodluck Jonathan was belated, “as the project ought to have been completed before now.”

Atiku stated this while delivering a keynote address at the 16th annual conference of African Council for Communication Education.

The conference was entitled “Communication, Children and the Youth in the 21stcentury,” and was hosted by the Department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

At the time Atiku was speaking at Nsukka, President Jonathan was in Onitsha, Anambra State, flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge.

The former vice president, however, commended the President for eventually flagging off the construction of the second Niger Bridge after long years of wait.

He said that when completed, “the bridge would boost economic activities and transportation in the South-East zone and environs.”

In his address, Atiku urged participants at the ACCE conference to find solutions on how best to ensure that 10 million out-of-school children returned to school.

“The participants should also seek solution to the high rate of unemployment facing youths in the country,” he said.

He tasked the media on content that would promote the Nigerian economy, which, he said, has diverse sources of revenue and employment generation. “We don’t have to depend just on oil, but on agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing and services”.

He said, “The media as an agenda setter should promote ideas for building the 21stcentury robust economy. You also have the responsibility to promote an education system mix of academic and vocational training, so as to cater for diverse needs of the youth and the emerging economy.”

Atiku, a presidential hopeful in the All Progressives Congress, advocated that federal schools be handed over to states in which they were located, saying, “It would help in administration and management of the schools.”

He added, “The Federal Government should also focus on setting regulatory standards and insist on implementing these standards.

“It will save cost as well as make it easier in management if federal schools were handed over to the states.”

The Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria, Prof. Bartho Okolo, expressed appreciation to the former vice president for honoring the invitation.

Earlier, the Head, Department of Mass Communication in the institution, Dr. Ray Udeaja, explained that the aim of the conference was to continue to advance evolution of communication education in Africa as well as guarantee the dignity of young Africans in the coming days.

“We are aware of the faith our society reposes on those of us who are in the academics. This is why we organise such conferences as these to enable us contribute to sustainable development.

“This conference targets young Africans who are our successors on this planet,” he said.

Udeaja added that the ACCE 2013 annual conference held this year (2014) because of the protracted Academic Staff Union of Universities strike last year. [Vanguard]

(From Biafra Galaxy)

Information Highway: Communicate How You Communicate.


MinOut-Communicate

© istockphoto/cofkocof

Recently I was visiting a church in the heart of a retirement community. The pastor got up and was astoundingly relevant. “There are five ways we tell you what’s going on here,” he said. He held up his hand and counted on his fingers: “The bulletin, the sign, the website, our mailer and announcements.”

 

He paused and then joked, “If you still don’t know what’s going on, then I have a hunch you’re just not with it!”

I don’t know if this was the pastor’s typical practice, but as a guest, it was a huge leg up in knowing where to find the information about how to get involved.

Your church may have stellar events, programs and even great communication strategies, but the best-laid plans can get derailed by the simple lack of clearly and concisely communicating how you communicate.

There is no better way to complement the work you’ve done in crafting a focused, strategic communications plan for your church than to pair it with a plan to regularly communicate to the congregation where to access information. Tell them how you communicate.

Here are some of the best practices for keeping your audience connected:

  • Have one channel that communicates everything you need people to know. Websites are ideal main channels. They should be well managed and updated often. All other channels should receive their information from this channel to maintain consistency. It should be the first channel you update with new or changed information.
  • Plan to communicate your channels once a month from the platform. Promote your main channel every week from the platform and in your program/bulletin.
  • Use each channel to make people aware of other avenues your church uses to communicate. For example, a Facebook post can encourage people to sign up for an email newsletter.
  • Communicate these avenues to your leaders even more regularly and help them understand what you promote through what channels and why you handle communications the way you do (reasons will be varied for every church).
  • Communication is a two-way street; be sure to also define the channels through which the church can communicate back to its leadership and make them known.

Communicating how you communicate will ensure everyone has access to your information from your most senior member to your newest guest. Putting a strategy together to communicate how you communicate and where to receive pertinent information will add tremendous value to every other strategy you have in place.

Written by Jon Rogers


Article excerpted and adapted with permission from ChurchMarketingSucks.com.

 

5 Ways You Should Never Talk to Your Wife.


 

Couple arguing

How can you avoid making arguments with your spouse worse?

Note from Mark Merrill: Today my wife, Susan, director of iMOM, is going to share with us five ways not to communicate with your wife. This is in response to my “5 Ways Not to Communicate With Your Husband” blog post. I’m listening carefully. You can read her blog and also follow her on Twitter.

Women are obviously different. I would guess there are different opinions on how a husband should or should not communicate with his wife. Were I married to a different man with a different communication style, this blog might have listed different ways not to communicate.

These are my five, and they are the result of 24 years with Mark:

1. With attack intensity. On any given day, motherhood can be a strategic battle. So if a husband needs to communicate and approaches in attack mode, he may get a woman warrior reaction. This is the fight-or-flight response taking over in her brain. It is much better for a husband to approach softly.

2. With his mind already made up. We should operate as single-mindedly as possible in matters concerning our family. To be single-minded takes coordination, negotiation and lots of communication. If a husband approaches a discussion with his mind firmly made up, leaving no room for open ruminating or joint problem-solving, it can be frustrating.

3. Late at night. I am too tired late at night. That’s just me. The brain has only so much RAM, and I am out of mine after 9 p.m. for any complicated conversations.

4. With criticism. Criticism in communication takes my focus away from the topic.  Instead, I find myself defensively focused on my behavior and our relationship. If the topic is our relationship, that makes it even worse because I feel under attack. Attack makes me distrust, and trust is crucial to relationships.

5. With thousands of words. I get worn out listening. I get lost in the purpose of the communication.

I’d like to hear from you and learn more ways husbands should not communicate with their wives. Please share your comments below.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

SUSAN MERRILL

Susan Merrill is the wife of Mark Merrill, president of Family FirstFor the original article, visitmarkmerrill.com.

Marriage Battle: The Frontline of Offense.


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© Stephen Hunton

Have you ever stopped to think and seriously consider that the local church—your church—is the frontline of offense in the battle for marriage and ultimately the family?

It’s a daunting thought. God instituted marriage as one of the foundational principals of mankind, and since the moment of its inception, this sacred bond has been under attack. How is a pastor, whose time and capacity are already spread paper thin, supposed to wage a war for these covenant relationships and maintain a revolution of this magnitude and importancewhen the world is working to make them ever more dispensable?

At our church, Trinity Fellowship in Amarillo, Texas, we’ve developed a three-pronged approach for making marriage a front-burner issue and meeting people where they are, whether they’re just beginning their marriage, have been married for a while and are still working hard at it, or are struggling in their relationship. We’ve taken our marriage ministry and released it to our volunteers to execute, lessening the need for staff while simultaneously training people to come alongside each other to minister as everyday disciples.

Essentially, we focus on marriage in three areas: pre-marriage counseling, marriage enrichment/building and crisis care. Here’s a brief summary of what we do and why we do it.

Pre-Marriage Counseling

At our church, we only marry couples who have completed an extensive pre-marriage process.

“We find that couples who work through key issues, such as finances, children, sex, husband/wife needs and in-laws prior to marriage are much more likely to be successful, especially in the first few years,” says Matt Spears, our executive pastor. The process provides couples with communication tools that become invaluable later in their relationship. While the specific process varies, from regular classes taught by trained volunteers to individual counseling by the marrying pastor, we unapologetically and rigidly follow this policy.

Marriage-Focused Small Groups

Marriage training is an essential part of any successful church strategy. At our church, we preach an annual message series covering many marriage topics, from communication to parenting to sex. But while preaching regularly on the subject is critical, it’s only one facet of equipping. We also strongly encourage couples to be involved in a small group—what our marriage and family pastor, Joab Purdue, calls “the heart of our marriage enrichment strategy.” In these specially tailored groups, people can get the hands-on mentoring they need as they live in community with each other.

Our small groups meet for 13 weeks, taking couples on a journey of personal discovery and giving them practical tools for their marriages. Using resources such as the Marriage on the Rock curriculum kit and Five Days to a New Marriage, groups can take couples to a whole new level of understanding each other and learning to effectively communicate. We’ve seen hundreds of marriages—from those in crisis to couples happily married for decades—take their relationships to a new level in just a few weeks.

“Every successful marriage needs communication skills to overcome selfishness and embrace God’s grace,” Spears says. “The key is finding mature leaders who have worked through these issues and empowering them to help others.”

Couples in Crisis

While groups offer the necessary tools to help couples enrich and advance their marriages, some relationships require more direct intervention.

We approach counseling on several levels. The vast majority of it is handled by our volunteer counselors. These incredible individuals go through our training process and then open up their schedule a few hours each week to counsel couples.

“Most people are surprised to find that their issues are not unique,” explains Gail Stennis, our pastor of care and counseling. By identifying mature leaders and holding two to three training classes each year, Stennis maintains a solid volunteer counselor base. For the more difficult cases, she refers the couples either to a staff pastor or a local Christian counseling service.

Along with regular counseling, we also recommend that couples in crisis attend a marriage intensive such as The Hideaway Experience or The Refuge at River Falls.

“Whether it’s couples who have decided to divorce or 40-year veterans, we’ve witnessed miracles take place at these events,” Spears says. “They have had a radical impact on marriages!”

The intimate setting combined with professional counselors who follow proven processes yields tremendous result—even for the most seemingly hopeless cases.

We also recognize and understand that while marriage retreats and counseling are exceptional and effective resources, sometimes people need to be healed. A critically wounded soldier doesn’t have much fight left in him/her. He isn’t able to engage in battle. So we offer opportunities for healing, such as THE SUMMIT weekend, a retreat at which we help people address their past and identify areas of bondage that are keeping them from finding freedom, and as a result stifling their relationships. We design THE SUMMIT to help people experience God through inner healing and deliverance.

We also offer what we call “Sensitive Needs” groups, targeting specific issues affecting individuals and marriages, such as Healing for Adult Women of Childhood Sexual Abuse; Boundaries; Freedom from Alcoholism; Victory over Anger; Leaving the Gay Lifestyle; Freedom from Sexual Addiction (for both men and women); Coping with Husband’s Sexual Addiction and more.

If you go to our website, the home page clearly states that Trinity Fellowship has “one mission in mind: to help you Experience God, Find Community, and Fulfill Your Purpose.” We were created on purpose, for a purpose, by a God who loves us and wants great things for us. When we’re doing what He created us to do, we find complete and total fullness of joy. But for some, that purpose and the joy that comes with it seems far away and out of reach. We believe that offering these kinds of resources will help us fulfill that mission as we minister to those in our church and local community.

As church leaders or really anyone in this culture, we don’t need to read statistics to know the battle for marriage is raging. We all know we’re facing a divorce epidemic and the breakdown of the family. But I do believe that the church is God’s Plan A (there is no Plan B) for redeeming the world and marriages. It starts with us as leaders saying marriage is important and we’re going to fight for it. Then we have to drill down to the “how’s” and  figure out how we’re going to focus our efforts on developing processes, attracting and training volunteers and leveraging existing resources to get us one step closer to winning the fight.

Marriage is the bedrock of our society, and the local church offers the key to its survival.

Written by Jimmy Witcher


Jimmy Witcher serves as senior executive pastor of Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas, where he oversees the church’s volunteer-led, robust and thriving marriage ministry.

Is Your Child Old Enough to Get a Cell Phone?.


teen with cell phone
(© Kenhurst | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

These days, kids are begging their parents for a cell phone. Whether they should have one or not is your job to decide.

But what factors should you take into consideration? Here are a few questions you should answer to figure out whether or not your child is old enough for a cell phone.

Need vs. Want

Is it a want or need?

These days, cell phones are a status symbol. Kids with the newest technology and the best games are seen as “popular” and “cool.” Your child might be trying to earn points with neat technology. But is that the purpose of a cell phone? The No. 1 reason kids get a cell phone is to stay in communication with their parents.

Working parents, busy schedules, bus dropoffs and after-school programs are legitimate conditions where a cell phone may be necessary. Practices could run late, and alternative arrangements may need to be made. But if your children are picked up and dropped off each day, there are other options available to stay in contact.

Make sure a cell phone is more of an emergency tool, not a social tool.

Responsibility

Is your child responsible enough to have a cell phone?

Each child is different. Parents know if kids are responsible with their belongings or if they are scatterbrained and prone to losing things. Their level of personal responsibility should determine whether or not they have a cell phone. Evaluate your child’s handling of present responsibilities. Do they complete their chores without being asked? Do they stay on top of their homework? Their actions with these small tasks are telling of their overall responsibility.

Perhaps they’re not quite there yet. Make a pact with your child that once they demonstrate personal responsibility in other areas of life, they’ll earn the responsibility of a cell phone. A specific plan can develop the skills your child needs before owning technological tools.

Pay attention to their level of responsibility, and if they’re not ready, teach them.

Cost

What if my child runs up my cell phone bill? This is a legitimate concern!

Here’s our advice: When phones have Internet access, parents are often surprised by the size of the phone bill. You can choose a basic phone without web access, but smartphones typically require Internet access. Consider the most affordable plan, and make sure your child is informed of its conditions.

Look into plans, then monitor and set restrictions.

Limits

Can you control their cell phone use?

We’ve all heard horror stories of $700 dollar cell phone bills, inappropriate photos and bullying text messages … even for young children. But could these issues have been avoided? As parents, we have the ability and obligation to ensure that technology is being used for good. Can you limit and track their cell phone use? Will they have a camera phone? Will there be an open text message policy? Can they have their phone at night?

You have the ability to set limits. Create a cell phone contract! These restrictions could be negotiated over time once more responsibility is earned. By first enforcing these limitations, you will teach your children self-control.

Parents can use their limitations to teach self-control.

Tools

What tools are available to ensure responsible cell phone use?

As technology advances, more options and apps are available to empower parents. Tools like Find My Friends help you locate your child. Code9 is a paid-service that tracks children, limits usage and informs parents.

Even without downloading apps and purchasing subscriptions, parents can use cell phones as teaching tools. While there are many great educational apps, the cell phone itself teaches self-control, responsibility and communication skills.

Apps and the cell phone itself are tools for parents.

Effects

Don’t cell phones cause cancer?

The idea that cell phone waves cause brain tumors was popular for years. But a recent study published in the Journal of National Cancer Research, explained here, reported “no link between rising cell phone use and rates of brain cancer.” The researchers argued, “If cell phones were a significant cause of brain tumors after five to 10 years of usage, the incidence rates should show an acceleration in brain tumors relative to earlier trends.”

Recent research shows no link between cell phones and brain tumors.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

ALLPRODAD.COM STAFF


All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a byproduct, the hearts of the children with their dads. At AllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include daily emails, blogs, Top 10 lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From AllProDad.com, fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

For the original article, visit allprodad.com.

How to Avoid Classic Marital Fights.


Classic marital fights
(Stock Free Images)

The well-known adage for family gatherings goes something like this: “Never talk about politics, sex or religion.” That’s any family—modern family, traditional family, non-traditional family, you name it.

That well may be a practical suggestion for large get-togethers at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it’s not the best advice for your marriage. Avoiding difficult topics doesn’t make the tension go away. To the contrary, unwillingness to communicate mostly serves to deepen the divide. Can you spell marriage conflict?

Here at All Pro Dad, we recommend a marriage that values communication and acknowledges the potential for conflict in the context of mutual respect and affirming love.

Simply put, we’d better talk about the things we fight about. If we won’t talk, then fighting is all that’s left in the way of communication. Parenting 101 and Marriage 101 are often, fundamentally, exactly the same class.

1. Money. Sit down together and work out a budget. Agree to take a look at expenses every month. If the meeting is pre-arranged and you both come to the table with 100 percent transparency, then the conversation about money can move from the emotional into the practical.

2. Family communication. “You never talk!” “You never listen!” Well, it’s easy to be distracted, so try this:

  • No TV during meals.
  • Dedicate 30 minutes every evening to “conversation with coffee” (or the beverage of your choice).
  • Go through a book such as 201 Great Questions, and actually schedule time for a tête-à-tête every day.

3. Children. Of course you fight about the children! Recognize the fact that tensions run high because you love them so much. Then turn conflict into communication by saying, “I need your help figuring out how to deal with this,” at the start of “those” conversations.

4. Intimacy. Intimacy? Who has time for that? Consider this, busy parents. You schedule everything else that’s important—the things that you believe you shouldn’t miss. Isn’t this part of your relationship worth a little planning? Call it “planned spontaneity” if you like. Here’s an important truth: Planning doesn’t kill spontaneity. It simply gives your creative impulse room to find its voice.

5. Time. You know the old Rolling Stones old tune, “Time Is on My Side“? Well, it’s wrong. Time is typically the thief of family harmony. Couples fight all the time for a stake in how the 24 hours are divvied up. Instead of fighting, join forces: “Okay, here’s the day/week/vacation. Let’s figure out how to make it work for us.” Make it a partnership against the conspiracy of time—the common foe.

6. Priorities. Are they “my priorities,” “her priorities” or “our priorities,” and who has power of veto? First things first: Power in the marriage relationship equation is gained only by giving it away. It’s important to remember that the first priority is always love—that love gives itself away and that “love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking” (Paul, circa A.D. 70).

7. Jealousy. Jealousy is best defined as “resentment against a rival.” In marriage, everything can be a potential rival: the children, possessions, friends, work, colleagues, church commitments. The perception of rivalry is as powerful as the reality of it and, as such, should never be discounted. So, All Pro Dads, make it your business to communicate what is true to your wife! You can’t overdo this one, but you can undo your marriage if you take her for granted.

8. Religion. Some couples fight based on denominational preference; some fight over the fundamentals of faith; some fight regarding levels of commitment; and some fight about religion because one of them is interested and the other is not. Regardless of the fight, try to live your faith with authenticity, integrity and humility. The closer you are to God, then the closer (no matter where your spouse stands) you are to your mate. The key point here is your faithfulness, not theirs.

9. Politics. Question: Do we have to talk about politics? Answer: Believe me, we do!

OK, so why do you fight? Is it because your spouse is wrong? Your spouse would surely come around to your way of thinking if you just repeated your talk-radio sound bite one more time, right? Or maybe the fight comes in response to the fact that you fail to value her opinion or she refuses to respect yours?

Again, the important thing here is to cultivate an atmosphere in which you can talk about anything, because your spouse knows you love and respect them regardless of disagreement. Browbeating your spouse into thinking in lock-step will not ever bring peace or joy to your household. Don’t just agree to differ. Learn to understand your wife’s opinion—you might just learn something.

10. The past. Here’s a good rule of thumb: Never argue historically. But we do. We bring up the past and we hold it over one another’s heads. Here’s a good question to ask yourself if you’re tempted to throw something in your wife’s face that she can’t do a thing about today: “So what?” You are not that same person anymore—and neither is she. The past is past. Let it stay there. Move on.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

ALLPRODAD.COM STAFF


All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a by-product, the hearts of the children with their dads. At AllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include: daily emails, blogs, Top 10 Lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From AllProDad.com fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Kem Meyer: The Abbreviated Communication Playbook.


 


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Communication is tricky—especially organizational communication. So many people are involved—on the inside and out. How do you communicate to help people take their next step toward Christ?

How do you cover all of the following objectives that are often thought of as required elements for effective communication?

INSPIRATION: information that motivates people to action.

OWNERSHIP: mission, vision and values across teams and locations.

INCLUSION: a common vocabulary for diversified audiences.

BALANCE: just enough, but not too much.

LONGEVITY: not just the here and now, but for the ongoing future.

These are loaded objectives, and we usually see two common responses to the challenges of meeting all five: Control everything or just give in to the free-for-all. Both approaches are counterproductive.

At this point, things could get complex if we let it. But we won’t. Simple approaches do exist. The best way to get there is to start right with a few essentials and to stay right with the right filter.

Start right with the right basics that apply to everyone.

A group of people with a clear understanding of the defined win can effectively create great work—easily. When everyone on the team collaborates to give it form, decisions are made and materials come together readily.

You, me—we are that group of people.But first we need to start with the same understanding of a key ingredient to our communication: the brand.

1. What is a brand? Given the right tools, a brand is like a person with good communication and adaptation skills. A brand is not a veneer you apply to make something pretty. Instead, a brand begins to exist when you have something to offer the world. It is a promise of what to expect. Great brands are trustworthy experiences. Think Nike, Apple, Star Wars.

2. How is a brand created, developed and maintained? Brands are created and developed by people with a shared philosophy. They shepherd the brand’s development, acting as the brand’s heart, head, eyes, hands, ears and voice. Everyone (and by that I mean everyone) who affects any brand touchpoint is responsible for making sure its values remain intact and understandable. Think brand handlers.

3. How does brand awareness grow? Brands need friends, or a support system, and again it comes back to people. Think brand advocates.

A communications hub team collects, prioritizes and edits the essentials of the brand, providing to all thehandlers what they need to connect with people and the world. The systems they create allow the brand to adapt and be used in different ways.

Let’s review. Handle the brand with care. Don’t manhandle the brand.

Got it? Good. It’s as if you just graduated from the fastest branding school in the universe. Move your tassel and advance to the next section.

You have a new job description.

Now that you’ve graduated from brand school, it’s time to define your role as a brand handler. As promised, we’ll keep it simple.

It all boils down to three basic mantras: Love them. Own them. Live them. Everything else will fall into place. Remember these brand handler characteristics:

1. Your job is much more about releasing the right response than it is about sending the right message.

2. You vow to reduce information obesity and simplify complexity.

3. Your commitment to effective communication comes from a level of self-awareness that is more of an attitude than a skill. It comes not from technique, but from being genuinely interested in what really matters to the other person.

What are your values?

How we communicate with each other and our audience brings our values to life. By protecting these values, we’re able to help people take their next step toward Christ and each other. The win? To simplify everything our audience sees, to make their life easier and more rewarding in every interaction with our church and ministries.

Abide in these values like your own little personal quality control department:

  • Clear. It’s not what you say; it’s what people hear. Remove distractions to simplify everything your audience sees or touches to help them effortlessly connect with Jesus and others. Eliminate the fluff and get to the point. Answer the essential questions: who, what, when, where and how.
  • Portable. Put the mission within reach for everyone. Make it shorter, visual, specific, scannable, searchable and categorical.
  • All Access. Easy to find. Easy to use. Easy to share. We use universal language and avoid insider jargon (and acronyms). We focus on the needs of our guests, not the needs of our ministries.
  • Well Done. If it’s worth communicating, it’s worth getting it right. When you’re trying to enhance the experience and harness the power of a message, every detail and touchpoint matters, up front and behind the scenes.
  • Guide. We use communications not as a final destination, but as an effective vehicle that helps people find their way from A to B. We treat our deliverables as way-finding tools that help people navigate their way to what’s next in the process, not everything at once. We draw people into the content we have to offer—allowing them to absorb and seek on their own terms.
  • Whole. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We are a unified church working toward one common vision we all own, not a federation of sub-ministries working for our own agenda and goals. We don’t strive to be fair, but rather appropriate based on scope.

I hope this little guide has helped you tap into a fresh perspective, an encouraging nudge, a few “aha” moments and some uncomplicated strategies that make a noticeable difference in your church’s internal and external communication. Take advantage of all the tools you have here. Believe it or not, every form of your communication can be better, and your life will be easier. No, seriously. It will.


Kem Meyer is the communications director at Granger Community Church and author of Less Clutter. Less Noise.: Beyond Bulletins, Brochures and Bake Sales. You can find a full version of Granger’s Communication Playbook, as well as information about Meyer’s communication workshops and coaching networks, at WiredChurches.com. She blogs atKemMeyer.com.


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Written by Kem Meyer

10 Ways to Handle Social Media in Your Marriage.


Man and woman on Internet
( © Simonkr | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

Social media has a lot of benefits and pitfalls, especially when it comes to how your spouse feels about your “friends” and “followers.” Here are some tips about how to go about your posts and your tweets:

1. Never get defensive. If you need to defend it, you are probably in the wrong. Don’t defend a virtual friend you never see over your spouse!

2. Unfriend old girl/boyfriends. 
Sure, they might be your ex, but you now have access to their every move. Do you really need to know what they’re up to? Men, do you really need to see pictures of them in a bikini? Don’t ask your spouse if “it’s cool” for you to be friends with them, either.

3. Relationship status. If you’re married, you better have it marked that you’re married. Another cool way to make it known is in your pictures that you post, and you can write something good about your spouse or marriage once in a while. This should help keep the “lookers” away.

4. Be cool with a page review. If your spouse has feelings of distrust and wants to look through your social media, let it happen. Don’t lose or break the trust in your marriage over something as meaningless as your status updates.

5. Don’t do it at all. I know a lot of couples that don’t use social media at all, and they have great marriages. Of course, we won’t say anything about their overall tech knowledge, but again, this is your marriage, and it should be very important to you! Talk it over with your spouse and find out if this would be the best thing to do.

6. Share happy photos. Have a great photo of the two of you? Put it up on your wall or keep it as your cover. Have a picture of your child or children? Throw that up on your wall every now and then. You should want to put out a positive message to the people that see you and follow you.

7. No messaging with the opposite sex. Early in my marriage, I started catching up with some women I knew from years ago. I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time, until my wife started asking what I was doing. It was a big deal to her, and it should be a big deal to you! Again, don’t unnecessarily put yourself in bad situations. Keep the private messages for your spouse.

8. Combine your pages. I can’t say I have done this personally with my spouse, but this might be a great way to stay connected with friends and family and not have to worry about who or what you’re doing. This would also send a positive message about your marriage!

9. Don’t share issues! What do I mean? Don’t share issues that you are having in your marriage on social media and then let your spouse find out. Marriage is all about great communication skills, and with our growing culture of texting and updates, we are losing the one-on-one deep talks. Go to your spouse first, and work out whatever issues you are having. Don’t seek advice from your buddy whom you haven’t seen in 10 years.

10. Share funny things with each other. I love to send my wife a funny picture, interesting message or new story on her wall. Not only does this show everyone that the two of you have great connecting skills, but it shows others that your marriage is strong and happy.

And that was only 10 ways! Share some ways you and your spouse handle the social media world.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

BRYAN VAN SLYKE/MANTURITY


Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today’s man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages, help men in grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood.Manturity.com features new weekly blog posts, daily social media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.

For the original article, visit manturity.com.

5 Ways to Not Communicate With Your Husband.


couple in strife
(Prometeus/http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

There are a lot of articles and blogs out there giving you tips on how to better communicate with your spouse. Today, I’d like to share with you these 5 Ways Not to Communicate With Your Husband.

1.    With bad timing.

All of us can have tough days. And all of us have issues we need to address with our spouses. But there are certain times that your husband does not want you to unload problems on him or give him a list of things he needs to do. When he walks in the door after work, when he’s eating dinner, when he’s out on a date with you…all of these are examples of times that should be off limits.

2.    With disrespect.

Not many things will anger a man more than someone being disrespectful to him. So, wives, respect his judgment. Don’t constantly question his decisions. Respect his abilities.  Give him a chance to fix the sink before you tell him you’re going to call the plumber.

3.    With abstract feelings, not concrete facts.

Of course, we all know that men and women aren’t wired the same way. We also know that women communicate more with feelings and men with facts. Do you want your husband to “get it?” You can start by sharing your feelings, but then tell him exactly what you need him to do. For example, don’t just say, “Sometimes you just don’t get it” or, “I wish you would just be more understanding.” Give him specific marching orders of what you want him to do that will help change those feelings. Men can’t decipher feelings very well, but we are good at taking clear orders.

4.    With multiple issues.

Most men have a fairly good ability to process things you tell them, as long as it’s one thing at a time and as long as they aren’t doing anything else when you make the request. When you throw too many things at them at one time, they may not hear anything. So that you know he hears you and understands you, have him stop what he is doing and look at you. Then, tell him one thing and have him repeat it back to you. Then you’ll know he got it.

5.    With assumption.

Your husband really does want to please you. He wants to be your hero. But, he cannot read your mind. When you make assumptions and he does not come through, you’ll probably get frustrated and say things like, “You should have remembered that I don’t like pickles on my sandwich” or “Why did you buy that? You should have known that I wouldn’t like it.” Don’t assume; be clear and tell him what’s on your mind.


Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

MARK MERRILL

© 2012 All Pro Dad. All Rights Reserved. Family First, All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute with Mark Merrill are registered trademarks.

5 Steps to Avoiding Communication Meltdowns in Youth Ministry.


strategy-for-communication© Prometeus | Stock Free Images

Our ministry once hosted a “Battle of the Bands” fundraiser that required a lot of work. Our team had to audition bands, price out food, order speakers and recruit volunteers. We put so much work into this event; however, we forgot one key component: to invite people.

We had sent out an email and made a few flyers; however, that was it. What was the response?  Embarrassing. While a few people showed up, they were mostly friends and families of the bands. It was a disaster.

Developing a communication strategy is a must in youth ministry, and while it doesn’t seem like the most attractive responsibility, without it you can’t expect your ministry to grow. Developing a strategy for how you communicate means being intentional about what you say, how you say it and to whom. That means you should do the following:

  1. Schedule a Designated Time: Your communication efforts need your focus; therefore, give yourself allotted time to respond to emails and voicemails. Carve out time to work on a message, and schedule your social media posts ahead of time with software like Simply Youth Ministry Tools, Hootsuite and Buffer. Develop a plan so you don’t rush and create a costly mistake.
  2. Understand Your Mediums: Part of a communication strategy is understanding that people utilize different mediums. We are no longer in the days of emails and phone calls. Understanding the power of your platform by utilizing social media, texts and even your message is key to getting your point across. Pick a few resources that you feel most of your target audience uses, and practice using them.
  3. Gain Feedback: Get someone’s insight and feedback before you post something online, respond to an important email or deliver a message. The problem with electronic communication is that it can be difficult to read emotion, and once it’s out there, it’s out there. You never want to come off patronizing, sarcastic or offensive to your audience. So before you hit send, ask a friend to share their thoughts.
  4. Know Your Audience: Come off patronizing to parents, and they won’t take you seriously. Speak over a teenager’s head, and you’ll lose their engagement. Know your audience by spending time with them; however, do not try to be them. The best way to speak to any audience is to acknowledge when you’re an expert and when you’re not. People will appreciate your humility if they know it’s coming from sincerity.
  5. Repeat, Repeat and Repeat: You can’t say something only once and expect people to remember it. Repeat it, tweak it and then repeat it again. Utilize all the different mediums, and stagger the timing of your blasts so they don’t get lost in the noise.

If you communicate clearly and effectively, you will be able to mobilize the next generation. Develop a strategy, and make it a part of your daily responsibilities so that you are never wondering if you’ve been heard. Getting a strategy started takes a little bit of commitment; however, once you get going, the possibilities are endless.

Which of these tips is the hardest one for you to embrace?

Written by Chris Wesley

Chris Wesley is the director of student ministry at the Roman Catholic parish Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MdConnect with Chris on Twitter at @chrisrwesley.

For the original article, visit morethandodgeball.com.

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