Wisdom Wednesdays: There is Power in Promise for Relationships

by Phil Meinzen

The Critical Importance of Making a Promise

God, in Christ, made an eternal promise.  The promise is faithful to the love that God has for Creation.  As people who are created in the image of God, we bear within us promise for others and the opportunity to make a promise to others, so that through us, everything we do might be a blessing to help others flourish to be all that they were created to be.

In today’s world, we have more information available to us than at any other time in history.  We also have more opportunities to give and get involved in ministries, so it is more critical than ever that ministry leaders learn to communicate with clarity and in a memorable way.

Even though we live during an unprecedented time of change in technological communication, the most powerful communication is still making and keeping a promise.  It is what makes relationships work and it is still the clearest way to cut through the clutter and create a relationship with someone.  Promise communications is how God communicates and maintains a relationship with us.

Yet in our communications and promoting our ministries, we often make it difficult for people to understand what promise we are making to them.  We tend to talk instead about what we do, or what we provide, without communicating the impact we have in their world because we are extending God’s promise.

Can I Trust You?

Ministry leaders should consider how to uncover a promise that their organization can make.  Establish a platform to create communications that are compelling, differentiating and true and cause relationships to form and strengthen.

Compelling is important because it causes people to act.  Differentiating is important because it answers the question, “Why you and not someone else?”  True is important so that when people engage with your organization based on your communication, they find their experience to be in line with the promise made.

It is important that you don’t simply try to describe your promise.  Uncovering the promise requires that you listen to the audiences you serve to hear how they are thinking about you.

A process designed to help ministry organizations communicate their mission from the audience point of view results in the development of a plan for communication of a promise that only you can make — one that is compelling, differentiating and true.

For example, take a Lutheran school with a 10 percent higher college entrance rate than the public schools in the area.  With no promise communicated, area parents may not be aware that the Lutheran school offers a staff that nurtures a child with the same values that parents desire, where hope encourages the child to live their faith with love to help students flourish.  Also, what about promises of future success that will allow these children to fulfil God’s promise through service?

There’s Power in Promise for Relationships

A strong promise will move people toward action and help them have greater confidence in their investment and partnership.  It will result in an increased response from audience groups and a focused strategy for operational action centered on the key relationship strengths of the organization.

The process to “Uncover the Promise” is one that, when introduced, can help your organization discover the most powerful keys to communicate and the focus that your ministry messages, relationships and strategies will resonate with as you learn to build consistency and clarity on the experience of your promise by others.

Your mission tells them what you will be and do for others.  The promise communicates the impact your will have in their world.  It is the “so what” factor that people are ultimately seeking.

Phil Meinzen is Director of Training, Consulting & Mentoring with the LCMS Foundation.  Contact him at Philip.Meinzen@lfnd.org.


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