Thursday, May 15, 2014
Five words to use well
Rt Rev Paul Williams, Bishop of Kensington, giving his seminar in HTB Onslow Square
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a children’s rhyme that apparently originated in the Christian Recorder of 1862. Generations of children have used it as a rejoinder to taunts and name calling. Whether you agree with the sentiment or, more likely, have found the verbally- inflicted bruises longer lasting, it is a reminder of the power of the words that we use, good and not so good. The five words below and advice on using them well comes from a seminar given at HTB LC14 by Bishop of Kensington Paul Williams who used to be Rector of Gerrards Cross.
1. Thank you
In our society this can be a throw-away, an insincere routine. But think further, especially in a church context. Serving is what we are about. If we are leaders, we are serving others who serve. So why do any of us serve? To make a difference. So ‘thank you’ becomes a powerful expression when expressed as part of a relationship, recognising how someone has made a difference.
- Who can you thank or praise in a meaningful way?
The nature of gathering for a purpose, serving and interacting in a relational way, means that collisions and miscommunications are likely. However careful we are, they will occur. Do we look for the cause, or the remedy? A powerful word and blessing is to be fast, if not the first, to take responsibility and say sorry to someone else.
- When was most recent time you put your hand up for something and apologised?
Corrie Ten Boom said: “I learned that it is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that truly counts.” Problems mount where a leader is unable to ask for help. We don’t tend to be good at it. It is never too late but early intervention is best.
- Who would you have that first conversation with, to get a perspective? Who would be someone who would listen and ask good questions?
Henry Cloud talks about exercising your ‘no’ muscle, to be able to say ‘no’ when you need to against an expectation of ‘yes’. Leaders especially find themselves facing difficult conversations. It is often good to rehearse them first. Sign of how well you live out a vision is how often you say no to anything that takes you away from that vision.
- Is there someone or some situation that you know you need to say ‘no’ to? How will you go about it?
5. Peter (or other name)
Knowing someone’s name is important. There is a positive, memorable impact made when we remember someone’s name. Jesus used names. When we use names it says that we do not see people around us as resources sent to help us achieve our goals. so is Praying for people personally.
- Who do you mention by name, but you don’t really know much about them?