How We Communicate - 'Tribes' Review pt. 2

In his book 'Tribes' Seth Godin says: We have a choice when we communicate.  We can write so our audience hears us.  We can present in a way that guarantees our audience will hear us.  But why do we often choose not to do this?  Why do we settle for what has always been done, even though we know its not very effective?

It has been well documented that a majority of people do not learn best by listening to a traditional lecture.  But yet this is still the primary way of communication in the academic and Church realms.  If we know this is not the most effective way to communicate with a large group of people why do we still use it as our main communication tool?

In a word, tradition.  We still communicate this way because that's how it's been done in the past, its comfortable, its the status quo.  Well what if the status quo isn't good enough anymore?  What if choosing to change how we communicate can greatly improve the reception of what we are saying?


I know when I have chosen to communicate to the students in the youth ministry I lead via a non-lecture based teaching style the response has been much more positive. Generally speaking, student participation is better, discussion is more lively, retention of key principles is higher, and the energy level in the room is noticeably higher and more positive.

Conversely, when I choose to use a lecture based teaching style participation and discussion are lower and the energy in the room is noticeably down.  In other words, if the goal of communicating to my students is participation, discussion, retention and good energy and atmosphere, then a non-lecture based teaching model is the best choice.


Here's the sad part...I still lecture sometimes.  I know that it isn't the most effective way to communicate with our students, yet I still choose to use it.  And here's why: it is EASY.  It's less work, less prep time, less thinking, and super comfortable.  Creating small group discussion points, physical activities, object lessons, videos, and pictures is time consuming and brain consuming...its a lot harder.


I'm part of the problem, but I'm trying to fix it.


What are some practical ways we can choose to communicate more effectively with our students?


[Part 2 in a series on 'Tribes' by Seth Godin]