The influence of our communication when we share a message

When I was a kid, we played a game called the Telephone Game. In the game, you sit in a big circle and take turns whispering a message into your neighbor’s ear. The whispering goes around the circle, until the last person announces what they’re told.

Without fail, in the end, what that last person stated out loud was vastly different than what the message began as.

I think this is what happens to all messages. What we send is not necessarily what people receive.

What I want to suggest today is that this message cluttering isn’t inevitable, and it isn’t outside of our control. There are things we can do – that we SHOULD do- to help the message reach people better.

For some reason in the church we’re taught to leave the messaging alone. That to work on its delivery somehow makes it inauthentic.

In church, we’re taught about the power of the Holy Spirit when we share a message, and how the Holy Spirit can take our meager message and transform hearts and lives.

In seminary, we’re taught about the importance of scriptural authority and theological integrity when we share a message.

Both of these are vital. But there’s also another consideration.

What we’re not taught, and what we desperately need, is a deeper understanding of the influence of our communication – our language and our images – when we share a message.

In the new digital and visual age we live in, it’s very important to know how the communication of a message works.


About the Author

Len Wilson

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Christ follower. Storyteller. Strategist. Writer. Creative Director at St Andrew. Tickle monster. Author, Think Like a Five Year Old (Abingdon).