By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Effective communication is essential for any leader. We use communication as means to better understand each other as well a tool to share information. Communication can be used to influence and connect with those around us as we try to motivate and encourage action. Oftentimes, it is not what we say, but how we say it that people remember and respond to.
Colossians 4:6 (ESV): Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
A leader who communicates graciously will build respect and trust among their team members. Through their clear direction and careful choice of words, a leader can foster an environment where problems are solved, compassion is shared, and creative ideas flourish. Conversely, a lack of effective communication will lead to conflict and frustration in both professional and personal relationships.
Proverbs 12:18 (ESV): There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
To be an effective communicator, we must pay attention to the verbal and non-verbal signs emitted from ourselves and others. We should also pay attention to our team’s stress level and have a high emotional awareness when engaging them. People receive and respond to information differently, so we need to make sure we are considering the most effective ways to share the information. A visual learner may have difficulty listening to someone present information without visual attachments. On the other hand, an audio learner may find the visual attachments confusing and distracting. The important thing to always remember is communication is collaborative, not self-sufficient.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (ESV): Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
Leaders understand their success depends heavily on their support apparatus. They understand communication is a two-way process that involves exchanging ideas, not dictating them. While not always easy, creating an environment of effective communication will significantly improve our ability to exchange thoughts and ideas.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Imagine someone you believe to be a great leader. They could be someone you personally know or they could be someone you read about or admire from afar. It is likely they each have a few core traits that helped lead them to success. It may be their drive, willingness to learn, and their ability to leave their comfort zone. They may be forward thinking and adventurous; willing to challenge the status quo. But what does the Bible say makes an effective leader? We will explore this over the next couple of months as we list the top ten (biblical) traits of an effective leader.
For someone to be an effective leader, people must be willing to follow them. Generally speaking, we find people are willing to invest in someone or something they believe in. The best salespeople will usually be selling a product they believe in and personally own. The people willing to follow someone tend to have the same mindset; they must believe in what the person is saying. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by always telling the truth.
Proverbs 16:28 (ESV): A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
The culture a leader creates will disperse among the team; as either a benefit or detriment to the overall success. If the leader is dishonest, there will be divisiveness and a lack of trust. People will be uncomfortable repeating or acting on the information the leader provides. They will be unsure if someone says something contradicting what the leader told them; because they know their leader is unreliable. On the other hand, if the leader is honest, there will be inclusiveness and fewer arguments. Everyone will be on the same page because the leader has told everyone the same thing. The vision will be clear because it does not change with the audience, nor does anyone dare lie because they know it will be evident to all.
Proverbs 19:9 (NIV): A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will perish.
Honesty comes down to expressing our intentions and then keeping them. A leader has to be willing to hold themselves and their team to their word. It is no different than a parent raising a child. If a parent wants to make sure their child acts a certain way, they should behave that way themselves. They have to incentivize the constructive actions and discourage the damaging actions. The best way to accomplish this is with our personal example; as it is always the strongest testimony people will react to. If a leader wants to build a culture of honesty, they must start by being honest themselves.
Ephesians 4:25 (NKJV): Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.
An honest environment is an environment where people are more concerned about each other than themselves. For a leader to successfully create an honest environment, everyone must be willing to speak and hear the truth. There can be no favoritism, no exceptions to the rule. Whether you are the leader or the intern, whether you started yesterday or have been there from the beginning; everyone should be held accountable to the vision the leader set forth.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr
Members of the church should look at each other as family, and as such, we should be willing to devote our time and resources to each other. Sometimes that is as simple as picking someone up from the airport, but other times it may require months of work helping someone overcome an addiction. The world is full of temptation and any one of us could succumb to its influence. That is why it is so important that we support and encourage each other through difficult times.
Galatians 6:1-2 (NKJV): Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
It is important we retain the understanding we help each other; not because we think we are better than anyone, but because we know we all need help. We are all sinners and we have all fallen short of the glory of God, and it is up to the church to help restore the world. We restore each other by sharing the love that the Father has shared with us.
1 Peter 4:8 (NIV): Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
This mission is not an easy task for any member of the church. Restoring someone with love still requires the honest action of telling someone they need to make a change for the better. Ideally, love will shine through and our friends and family will appreciate our willingness to help them better themselves; but that is not always the case. The good news is if we are willing to sacrifice a little comfort for the sake of someone’s soul, we will have our ultimate reward.
Galatians 6:8-9 (NKJV): For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
While the Apostle Paul started with spiritually restoring members of the church, he also wants to make sure we treat all people with the same love. While it is good to love and cherish your loved ones, it is more beneficial to love and cherish a stranger (Matthew 5:46-48). Whether knowingly or not, Christians are always representing Christ in all they do and their actions could motivate or deter someone from the church. Christ came to earth and died for all of us, so it only makes sense for the church to value each person as well.
By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Every summer there appears to be a new superhero movie that millions of people feel compelled to see. Have you ever wondered what is it about superhero movies that draw our attention? Could it be because it provides an escape from the demands of everyday life? Could it be the nostalgia of childhood we want to share with our children or relive with our friends? Could it be all the action scenes filled with suspense, explosions, and special effects? While each of those things may be true, it is actually much deeper than that. As humans, we want to believe in the greater good. We like the idea that someone out there is willing to put their life on the line for someone else.
Galatians 1:4-5 (NKJV): Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Superheroes provide us the ability to struggle, fail, grow, and succeed with them through their journey. When they lose, we lose and when they win, we win. We find things about their life that matches ours as we imagine ourselves doing what they do to make the world a better place. This may provoke the natural question; why do we go to fiction to find superheroes? Outside of superpowers, we find most people do not possess the superhero gene.
John 15:13 (NIV): Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
If a hero is willing to sacrifice their life for another, then a villain is willing to preserve their life at the expense of another. As a result of sin entering the world, all have fallen short of the glory of the Lord (Romans 3:23). If we put man on a pedestal, they will surely let us down at least once in our life. That is why Christ wants us to build our house of faith on the solid foundation of His words.
Matthew 7:24-25 (ESV): Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
If we build our house on a belief in man, that house may fall as the relationship shifts and experiences change. We must look to one greater than ourselves and find traits in Him that we wish were in us. We must then make the change in our lives because we can acquire the superhero gene. We enjoy superhero movies because they draw the best out of humanity and we enjoy seeing good triumph over evil. Well there is no greater example of good triumphing over evil than the account of Jesus and his triumph over corruption, death, manipulation, and misdeeds.