JESUS & THE 47% & THE ONE CONVERSATION
Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes, and your no be no.” Acts 19:37 – The town clerk defending Paul before a riot at the theatre in Ephesus says, “You have brought these men here who are neither robbers of templers nor blasphemers of our goddess.” Incredible verse – Paul knew how to communicate and how to engage with Jews, Gentiles, Greeks, Pagans, you name it – he lived by one conversation – Jesus, crucified and raised.
In my new book “Bold as Love” one of the key things that I write about is something that I had to learn to do – have one conversation with all people. I grew up where we would talk one way to our religious community, another way to our local community, another way publicly in the US, another way to the world, and another way to other religions. That’s too many people, with too many conversations that can create a lot of confusion.
When our church began to work in Vietnam, we wound up working with local government and community leaders, and ultimately people in higher levels of the government. How was I clear and honest about who we were, building a relationship, and trying to connect? That was a huge question for me. I grew up with the Great Commission being a project, instead of relationships. I grew up with the Great Commission being force to be reakonned with instead of a natural organic result of kingdom people loving their cities. I had a lot of learning to do.
Maybe that didn’t matter when we were isolated by geography or communication – but that is no longer our world. We are all connected. Thus, my twitter, my sermons on line, my blog, my talks given at different places posted on the internet . . . . . you name it.
My sermons Sunday are listened to from all over the world – but not because I’m a Matt Chandler or Tim Keller (people I download!) – but because I’ve come to know people and built friendships and mobilized people in those nations to serve them. The world is open and we have access like never before – but frankly we don’t get “communication protocol” let alone “cultural protocol” and I’m not talking about being politically correct. We should be truthfully correct – but kind, humble, gentle, and loving in how we communicate everything. It also has to be consistent, clear, core, and simple. When we learn to communicate like that, our message will spread faster and we will minimize many many conflicts.
Romney got in trouble because a video camera caught what he said about the 47% that would never vote for him. It may have cost him the election.
ONE CONVERSATION is about being consistent in what you say to your tribe, their tribe, and the whole world.
ONE CONVERSATION is about being transparent, which is the only way people can and will trust you.
ONE CONVERSATION is about clarity so there is no confusion.
ONE CONVERSATION is about thinking about what you say before you say it. Are you saying the best possible way? Are you saying it in the kindest way possible? Are you saying it honestly not compromising truth?
ONE CONVERSATION is about positioning what you believe in the best possible way.
When I write my sermon, tweet, blog, you name it . . . . I try to think how is this going to sound. I don’t always do it right, if you follow me you know that. But I definitely do my best and don’t mind be corrected. I know when I preach, the whole world is listening now – they are to you as well – what do they hear?
Bob is the founder, senior leader, and chief spokesman for Glocal.net . His primary focus is to connect leaders and estabish relationships to explore transformation. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bobrobertsjr.