About Books On Creating Understanding
The message we have received is for giving, not for keeping. This means that Christian workers must give primary attention to the business of communication. How does this happen? What makes it so difficult at times? How do we surmount differences that separate people? Where can we turn to for help?
Theology deals with the content, anthropology emphasizes cultural aspects of proclamation, sociology highlights community in building the body of Christ, and psychology shows us individual need and response. These important viewpoints are incorporated in a communication approach, along with major contributions from the disciplines of management, education, history, social research and communication arts.
The content must be known and experienced, of course, or the proclamation will have no substance or credibility. If we know what we are to proclaim, then, how do we do it? More fundamental than method and technique is the question of how understanding is achieved. When we know that, we can use methods that are appropriate to each occasion.
Seeing our task essentially as communication gives us a framework for constructing effective ministry. Communication stresses process, the process of creating understanding. It is dynamic, focusing on interchange rather than structured method.
Interchange between people always deals with differences, whether they are called personal differences or cultural differences. The variation between people may seem small, or it may be so great that even talking together poses real difficulty. This is the central problem in communication: how to achieve understanding across differences, no matter what causes them.
When the differences are relatively small, they seem as interpersonal problems. When the differences are large and marked by distinctions in language, clothing, skin color, and other such variables, they are considered intercultural problems. Still the underlying dynamics are very similar. And once the basic dynamics for creating understanding are recognized, they can be used in every situation.
We invite you to join our author, Dr. Smith, and us with the resources of the Word, our books on "creating understanding" and the Spirit as you involve yourself in the day-to-day mission of communicating the message in a way that is understandable to the audience in the culture you are called to serve.