Abductive Columns

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Communication--Online and in the Local Church

Healthy faith communities are built on good communication—the principles and building blocks of a local church (on-live). The following list is a sample of what comprises good communication. Many more could be listed but for sake of brevity and purpose of illustration I’ve listed the following.
· Keep communication simple

· Use metaphoric communication

· Use numerous forums to spread the word

· Repeat key messages

· Explicitly address inconsistencies

· Listen and be listened to

· Lead by example

Spending as much time as we do online I’ve begun to think about the standards of good communication in the online community. The forms of communication in the online community are both different and similar from the on-live community (local church). Most different are the nuances of expression found in the voice and the body that are totally absent and left to the imagination in the online world. Yet strikingly similar is what is communicated (or not communicated) forms the basis of our understanding (or misunderstandings), which in turn stirs either feelings of camaraderie or enmity.

Communication remains the lifeblood of both the on-live and the online communities. Is communication more difficult online? To what extent is our communication misunderstood and where does failure to communicate show up more—online or on-live (in the local church)? Questions that none of us can answer with any surety, but all would agree, communication is an imperative component of healthy relationships yet strangely where we fail most.


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