There’s absolutely zero correlation between being a good-to-great preacher and understanding the power of relationships! Full stop!
There are those who are good-to-great preachers who have little understanding of how meaningful relationships are to effectiveness and influence in ministry and/or the local church!
In fact, there will be many an average-to-mediocre preacher who will be more effective and influence more lives because of the strength of his relationships.
People listen because they respect and regard the person speaking. Lose that respect, and the best preaching is passively attended to, and for some, he is a tinkling cymbal for others.
The proof of that is easily demonstrated.
- Just reflect on how you listen to those you have little regard for — theologically, professionally, or personally. Sorry, but I don’t listen to everyone with the same weight — and neither do you — and neither do your listeners.
- Who was the teacher that you remember the most? Why?
- Ask the average adult what youth pastor had the most influence on them as a teen, and it will be the youth leaders who had the best personal relationships.
It was not who was the best speaker or theologically informed, but who had the highest emotional intelligence — who was the best people person.
A poor preacher may have more influence in the lives of God’s people than the best of preachers because God’s people know that he genuinely cares for the flock.
√ Develop your speaking skills!
√ Keep improving at communication.
√ But the bottom line is . . . .
People listen to people.
People give the right of influence to those who are seen as caring, interested in, and loving.