Welcome to Communications: A Core Competency for Servant Leaders, which is the main lesson in the Leading through Relationships module, of the Growing the Servant Heart on-line Programme for Christian Leaders.


Communication is a universal need, just as speaking and listening are virtually universal abilities. However, just because we can speak and hear does not necessarily mean that we are effective communicators. We often think that verbal communication is simply about speaking and we lose sight of the objective; the desire to convey understanding to someone. Normally we feel that because we have said it, the other person must have understood. Alas, that is not what usually happens; we may speak, the other person may have heard our words, but have they actually understood what we intended to say in the first place?

Thus, being good at communication is vital skill for the Christ-centred servant leader as you seek to lead others, that they may achieve their full potential in God’s service.

As we shall see, there is an array of issues that work against understanding as we try to convey the idea that was in our minds to another person.  Unless, that is, both the speaker and listener work together to achieve understanding.

This module is exactly about that collaboration where the speaker and listener take joint responsibility to achieve understanding. This process is called Responsible Communications, which we shall explore in this lesson. It’s an approach that has been taught to many Christian leaders around the world.

We shall not only look at Responsible Communications in a one-to one setting but also at making it work in meetings too. As a bonus we will briefly reflect on the additional issues generated by communicating via email.

The Growing the Servant Heart programme is about providing practical tools to help the Christian leader function day-to-day. As such the tools and approaches have been selected because they are supportive of the values and objectives of the Christ-centred servant leader.

At the end of this lesson, as the student, you will have: Considered the factors that work against effective communications and explored how to become both a Responsible Listener and a Responsible Speaker. You will also have been introduced to a credible, well used scheme that helps make meetings effective. Finally, you will have reviewed how to make email a more effective communications channel.

For ease and subsequent reference this lesson is split into 8 topics and includes some 2½ hours of video presentation . You will find students notes for each topic on the topic pages. They are virtually a verbatim transcript of the topic videos. You can also download the full student notes from the link below.

You’ll find the Google Translate controls at the top right so you can read the on-line notes in your own language.

The Next Module in the programme is entitled Leading the Journey. Leadership is exactly about leading people on a journey to achieve a shared, common goal. It’s about envisioning as well as enabling the subsequent  journey, which by definition is  inherently one of change. So, this module will look at the issue of developing and sharing a vision and leading people through that journey to bring that vision to reality.

Please enjoy the module, you can start by selecting a topic from the menu: