Bridge-Building: The Secret to Great Communication & Leadership

“Bridges don’t matter until you need them but then it’s too late to start building them.”

Ministry is built on relationships. 

Axiom: The axiom that states, “It’s not what you know; it is who is know,” is mostly true. 

For example: As a pastor, you can know the Bible like the back of your hand, but if your relationship with your congregation is weak or compromised, your ability to truly impact and lead your congregation is going to be very difficult if not impossible.  You don’t know them and they don’t know you.  Your sermons will not connect; and more importantly, you will not connect.

Furthermore, silence is almost always interpreted negatively.  So, when your people seldom if ever have one-on-one interaction with you, it is almost always interpreted negatively. 

Professionally: In the same way there will be times in your life that there are people in a room discussing you and your future – and if there is someone in that room that you have a good relationship with it will greatly increase your chances for the outcome from the decisions made in that room to be in your favor.

It could be a board room where your future is being decided

It could be the local coffee shop where your future is being decided, i.e. a member that loves you (or doesn’t) who speaks up on your behalf (the court of public opinion)

Two qualifiers:

(1) The assumption is that you truly care about the people you serve and work with (or for). 

  • Your goal must be to add value.
  • Your goal must be to serve.
  • Your goal must be to help others win.  

(2) You can do this – no matter your personality type. 

  • Mitch Corder, “I’m not social, but I am relational.”

Make your “Directed Call List” a priority each day. 

What to do:

(3) Keep the “Directed” in your call list, i.e. call on purpose.

  • Warning: If you are not careful, your life will be consumed by a small circle of people who will monopolize your time and stymie your growth (these can be well meaning people who are best friends, etc.)
  • Know the difference between “Directed” and “Emergency”
  • Emergencies are controlling your present and stymie your future
  • Directed calling is about controlling your future (building bridges)

(4) Prioritize your Call List:

  • Family
  • Regularly and systematically call or contact everyone in your congregation.
  • Donors (The ones who make it happen; no one works for free; invest in your leaders.)
  • Influencers (Within and without your organization.  When you earn the right to influence and influencer you greatly leverage your life to make a difference for the Kingdom.)
  • Paul (mentors/coaches in your life)
  • Barnabas (close friends and colleagues)
  • Timothy (people you mentor)
  • General call list

(5) Have something to add when you call // not call on purpose, but call purposefully.

  • Lead by asking questions
  • Call to give
  • Call to learn
  • Call to affirm
  • Note: Do your research before you call.
  • Note: Make good notes for follow-up after your call.

(6) Grow your call list.  

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