It’s hard to learn anything new when all you hear is your own voice coming back at you. This is one of the most disheartening aspects of our current cultural climate. So many of us can’t bear to hear anything that doesn’t fit our previously-held worldview. Instead, we retreat into our echo chambers, with social …
I don’t do PowerPoint presentations. I teach. I preach. I talk. I illustrate. I tell stories. And I use visuals on a screen to enhance that communication. The program I use to create those visuals happens to be PowerPoint. Like any tool, it can be used well, or it can be used badly. PowerPoint is …
The mission comes first. Always. Because of that, whenever an extra-biblical idea or turn of phrase is anything but clear in the way it advances the message, we need to find and use a better manner of communication. In the church, we’ve been using some terms in ways that not only aren’t helpful to newcomers and …
Why should I smile when I’m talking on the phone? Unless it’s a video chat, the listener can’t see me smile.
Because they can hear me smile.
Yes, you can hear a smile.
The same goes for talking on the radio, a podcast, or while preaching a sermon. Smiling when you talk changes the way your voice sounds.
A smile gives your voice a more inviting, uplifting tone. It welcomes people in. And, for an introvert like me, who has a general dislike of talking on the phone, a smile works its way from my face to my mood.
Our emotions go from the outside in far more often than from the inside out. So smiling while doing something I otherwise dislike actually helps make it bearable, sometimes even enjoyable.
Besides, the gospel is good news. That’s worth a smile.
When you smile, they know it. And the good news starts feeling good to them, too.
I’m not a podcaster. But I’m becoming an avid listener.
If you’re a podcaster looking for an audience, I’m the kind of person you’re looking for. Someone who wants great content and will come back for more once I find it.
So what makes a great podcast – one that’s worth subscribing and listening to regularly?
I’m not concerned with many of the things I’ve seen podcasters worry about. Podcasts can be short or long, interview or solo, serious or funny. None of those characteristics are what make a great podcast.
Here are the 8 main characteristics that matter to me and probably to a lot of listeners like me.
I’m going to say something stupid soon.
So will you.
When it happens, I hope people will give both of us the benefit of the doubt and assume the best of us, instead of the worst.
Since I hope to be the beneficiary of such grace, I try to live my life by giving the same grace to others. Even to people I disagree with.
But we can’t just nod and smile at untrue, unkind or unChristian statements, either. We need to practice reasonable judgment about what people say and write. Sometimes those statements need to be challenged, lovingly, but firmly.
As always, Jesus said it best. We need to, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment” (John 7:24). But how do we do that? As Christians and as consumers of content, how do we balance wise discernment with forgiveness and grace?
If you’re not using social media, you’re not pastoring your church as well as you could. Whenever I say that in a minister’s conference I make some pastors mad. And I’m OK with that. Because I also get looks of relief and whispers of “thank you” from staff members and volunteers. They’ve exhausted themselves trying to …