What a great way to spend the long weekend! Speaking and communing with young leaders in a beautiful camp setting. Nature, a purposeful group seeking knowledge and growth, and the time allotted to do so properly. A safe environment that fosters faith and challenges the community to be shaped all at once. Most of us dream of that experience in our adult lives, but very few take the opportunity to do so. You should. And then take someone along on your journey going forward.
One of my sessions focused on how we bring a message across. Something that is key in community. When I consider the young leaders that I have been blessed to grow with over the years, I am reminded of how often the message is lost in translation. This happens to all of us at any level, but there is something important about the way it happens in the natural development of a young person. Adults tend to forget that not everything is common knowledge, and that they to were once young. Translation is required any time we do not know the map or how to navigate the next step of the journey. If we rely wholly on trial and error, we do not provide growth, only items to avoid.
I contend that the message is often lost because of how it is transmitted. When you say something to anyone in a way that does not apply to their specific context and understanding, your message will be for naught.
By design, we desire to be spoken to at our level. When we speak down or struggle to speak up, it is a lacking on our part. Our method of transmission can go either way, and both speak volumes of our personal character and identity. A whole person desires the message to be understood and received, even if there is no agreement in return. Too often I have witnessed the more mature person with much to say negate their entire message by the level they established in order to be heard. Both parties walked away disrespected and annoyed.
To allow someone in our midst respect without having to earn it is priceless, and it’s worth extends far past the moment.
I love coaching and encouraging people at all stages of life. But I truly enjoy speaking with youth and especially young leaders. It is not because I am immature or lacking, but because there is an immense amount of potential energy for the life ahead. They have not experienced all the pitfalls yet, and they do not need to. They serve as a reminder to me that regardless of my message, I need to translate through my stage of life and state of affairs. We both benefit, and hopefully, we both learn. One from the wisdom in experience, the other from the potential of inexperience.
Want to create community in your setting? Speak at (y)our level. It is a great reminder at any stage of the game.