Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from Mission Summit Conversations (June 2013)

  • Insights
    • Three key issues in communication are transparency, clarity, and winsomeness.
    • Good communication begins as we listen to how God is speaking to us and how these words of hope and grace resonant with the needs and concerns of others.
  • Challenges
    • We always need to be aware of the multiple audiences to which we speak in all our communication and how there are always unintended results.
    • We need to be aware of all the ways we are communicating and how our words have a lingering power for good or ill.
  • Experiments
    • How can we test out that we are engaged in two way communication?
    • How can we discover if our communication is transforming lives?

Summary of Insights, Challenges and Experiments from the Mission Table (November 2013)

  • Insights
    • We live in a communication “fog” – there is so much communication out there that our communication gets blurred, confused.
    • Sometimes we need to walk a person through something, rather than just communicate and assume they’ve received the message.
    • People interpret what we say in light of what we do.  We are communicating messages even when we are not speaking.
    • Generational modes of communication vary widely between groups, who each have different expectations (etiquette, etc.).
    • There is healing in being heard and acknowledged (even if not agreed with).


  • Challenges
    • The art of agreeing to disagree is being lost in our culture – if we disagree we cannot be friends.
    • We must not judge those who use or prefer different modes of communication than we do.


  • Experiments/Projects
    • Listening is learned.  We need to model and teach good listening.
    • Defining rules/roles helps create safe space (like this “mission table;” we started with agreed-upon ground rules for the event).
    • When leaving a meeting, we need to clarify that we are all on the same page regarding the message of the meeting.


Read the full notes:

Mission Summit Conversations:

Mission Table:

Views expressed are the sole opinion of conversation participants. They do not express the views of American Baptist Churches USA, or individual American Baptist churches. Conversation notes and summaries are shared to allow American Baptists and friends to easily review and use these Mission Summit Conversations and the Mission Table learnings as they wish.