Ed. Note: Although I am always encouraged and motivated by the articles Gayle shares with us, this one is especially appropriate for the vision and ministry of Effective Church Communications. My goal is to equip you to share the Words of Eternal Life and as Gayle shows to do that best is not so much about what tools you have, but about YOU, your training, insight and use of the skills you bring to the church. Read on and be encouraged that the time you spend learning will give you a mastery far beyond your expectations!
Just how important is Know-how?
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord…” —Colossians 3:23
When it comes to getting the job done, it’s all about knowing what to do with what you have. The church with the most equipment does not necessarily produce the best looking publications. The one with the priciest management software does not automatically have the accurate and usable records. Nor does having an elaborate phone system guarantee the church’s calls will be handled properly.
Certainly, having adequate equipment is important. But achieving excellence never depends on resources as much as it depends on your ability to use those resources to the maximum. A mastery of the tools of the trade is your most valuable asset—and mastery requires ongoing training. Churches grasping this truth make continuing education a priority: while not everyone can attend seminars, everyone can keep up to date with online and print resources. Training is, without question, the key to excellence.
The value of know-how is illustrated in an old story concerning Andrew Carnegie, the richest man of his time.
It seems Mrs. Carnegie—most likely his mother, who was famously fashionable—wanted something extraordinary for Easter. So she sent for the most celebrated millinery designer in Paris to come to New York to create for her a very special chapeau.
“And where in the church will you be sitting, Madame,” he asked, “and what will you be wearing, and what time of day, and what impression would you like to leave?”
After considering these questions and more, the Parisian finally took a simple straw bonnet from its box and selected a lovely crimson ribbon from his satchel. Draping the ribbon artfully around the hat’s crown he tied the bow just so and placed the hat on her head, giving it just the slightest tilt forward.
As he held a mirror to her face, Mrs. Carnegie beamed. “This is absolutely perfect! How much do I owe you?” He replied, “Five hundred dollars, Madame.” She eyed him coolly. “Five hundred dollars for a ribbon?”
At that, with a flourish he drew the ribbon from the hat, laid it neatly across her forearm, and bowed, “Madame,” he said with a confident smile, “the ribbon is free.”
Life lesson: It is not what you have, but what you have learned to do with what you have that makes the difference.
For inspiration as well as training in church communications, check out the Yvon Prehn Effective Church Communication YouTube Channel.
Please note the Playlists on the right side of the site. These organize the training into topics. If you'd like to see an overview video about the Playlists, CLICK HERE.