Here is Tip # 18 for Ministry Leaders in 2016…
Watch your language.
Are you using “curse words” without even knowing it? We’re not talking about one of the infamous “4-letter words.” As a matter of fact, the worst one may just have only one letter… “I.”
When it comes to the power of the plural and how we frame our conversations, two examples come to mind…
Jordan Spieth has taken the professional golf world by storm. One of the youngest in history to win so much, so fast on the biggest stages in golf. Of course, those in the know have watched his career grow steadily from the junior golf tour to #1 in the world. How did he get there? It wasn’t overnight and he wasn’t alone. Just listen to a pre or post-round interview and he will tell you his secret, every time. No, it isn’t a magic move in his swing or hidden course strategy, it’s in the way he intentionally and consistently answers questions with… “We have been working on that over this past month…” “We have been trying that out and have plenty of room for improvement…”, etc. With Jordan, it’s almost always a “WE” thing. He includes his family, coaches, friends and fans in just about every conversation concerning his young and stellar career, giving and sharing the credit for the wins with others while personally shouldering the blame when things go wrong.
Peter and the other apostles learned this language as the early church struggled mightily and grew rapidly. Take Acts 15 for example… “We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (v11) “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them…” (v19-20) “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” (v36) Whether teaching, confronting, encouraging, or strategizing it was almost always a “WE” thing as the Spirit led the apostles in the rapid expanse of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
How do we frame our conversations as leaders? Let’s determine to create a culture where “WE” vision, work, pray, risk, fail, create, do-over, and keep on striving together with our lead teams and volunteers. Unless taking responsibility for how we’ve fallen short or failed to lead, let’s watch our language and use the “I” word sparingly,
We are truly better, together. Remember, its a “WE” thing!