How often do we think that as we communicate with others that what we are thinking and saying is perfectly clear? Probably a ton of times for each of us. How many times do we share what we want people to do, or share the vision of our ministries and still people don’t exactly seem to pick it up?
I want to share with you a story I picked up somewhere over the years that i think does a great and humorous job of helping us to see how important it is to be clear when we are speaking to kids. We need to look over our words, phrases, terminology, visuals, all of it and really think through our audience we are talking with to make sure that when we are done communicating we have not just “talked” but really “communicated” clearly.
Two old boys were out in the boonies deer hunting, and somehow Ed managed to accidentally shoot Buster. It was a pretty serious thing, and they knew they needed help.
Buster reached into his pocket and pulled out a cell phone. He handed it to Ed. “Here,“buster gasped, “call 911 and the tell them what you did.” Then buster lost consciousness. Ed dialed up the number,got a signal, and in about five seconds he was talking to a 911 operator.
“I accidentally shot buster and I think he’s dead!” Ed shouted into the phone.
The 911 operator was reassuring and told Ed she’d walk him through exactly what Ed needed to do. “The first thing,” said the operator, “is to stay calm so you can take action. I can tell you’re excited. Take a few deep breaths for me.”
Ed did that and sure enough, he could feel his heart quit beating so fast.
“Great,“said the operator. “Now, the second thing is to make sure your friend is actually dead.”
The operator heard the phone as it was set on the ground then a shot rang out, Ed came back online. “OK, I made sure he was dead” Ed said. “What’s the next thing?”
In this little story Ed did really well following directions. He did everything that was asked of him. But because he didn’t catch hold of the goal (to save busters life),he ended up doing something foolish. (Now, just a s a disclaimer, this is a fictitious story and no one should really do this and no one was really hurt during the telling of this make believe story)
Even though this story was as stated a fictitious story, something happens all across the globe all the time that is not fictitious. It is when we think we are clear when we are not and we challenge boys and girls to win the world, & be all they can be for God and “we” lose them through our un-clarity and God gets the blame.
It is our responsibility as leaders to make sure people understand the goals and purpose of what we are telling them about so they can make good decisions. I believe that when kids, parents, and families have “clear” communication they will find ways to succeed.
Is this clear?