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The Master Communicator
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Jedd Medefind and Erik Lokkesmore
The Revolutionary Communicator:  Seven Principles Jesus Lived to Impact, Connect and Lead (Lake Mary, Florida:  RelevantBooks, 2004.  165p.)

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These writers analyze the communication methods of Jesus and discuss the implications for communicators today.  They apply this especially to a critical analysis of the kind of communication commonly occurring in today's church, as well as the society of the United States at large.

Medefind and Lokkesmoe present and discuss 7 characteristics or principles of good communication:  Attentiveness, Seeking Connection, Asking Questions, Authenticity, Storytelling, Solitude and Success as Service.  They find that Jesus was relational and personal in the way he related to his audiences, common or elite.  The discussion on Asking Questions is excellent, pointing out the question-answer style of Jesus.

I have long been impressed with the power of questions and noted that Jesus often would answer a question with another question that required thought and reflection.  He would lead the person asking him a question or posing a problem to consider a situation in a story he would tell.  Then he would close by asking a question that required a commitment as an answer.

The question Jesus poses would be a reframing of perspective would often seem to be saying, "You are asking the wrong question."  The format of the authors' presentation is consistent with this relational "connectedness" as they include perspectives and anecdotes from many other historical or current personalities who have themselves illustrated or advocated these communication methods they fid in the life of Jesus.

Confirmed Characteristics
The authors draw upon personalities from Socrates to Mother Teresa and President Bush with quotes or life events that they find illustrate or express these same 7 characteristics.  They reference varied and sundry personalities for their story illustrations, such as anthropologists, entertainers and "motivational speakers" they like and don't like.

Excellent helpful sidebars provide personal insights by relating instances in the authors' own lives from which they learned the importance of one of these principles along the way.  They also present a firm but gentle rebuke to the popular church cultures we are so irritated with and tired of, as well as noting where the popular secular culture of America offers us promises it cannot keep.

Master Communicator
This book will be a helpful occasion for self-reflection and reevaluation of relational skills, as well as the more specific communication skills and techniques we would note on the performance level.  This book confirms that Jesus is not only the Master, but also the Master Communicator.

See related reviews and articles on this site:
[review] Fuzzy Thinking, Confused Preaching and Cultural Traps

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First review notes written 18 June 2009
Expanded review posted on Amazon 28 November 2009
Final review posted on OJTR 28 November 2009
Last edited 4 November 2011

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2009 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.

Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
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