Communication is the Key

How do you communicate with other people?  Wherever you sit on the extrovert/introvert scale, this is something that we have all probably considered at some point either professionally, domestically, or as a BB leader.

A workplace mentor of mine once explained the benefit of having a professional face, emulating the graceful appearance of a swan, whilst paddling, often frantically, beneath the surface to keep afloat.  Doubtless many would agree, this ‘public relations mode’ is a delicate art, an occasionally wavering guard for many job roles.

Most people can relate to first dates seeming like a job interview.  However, three years on from ours, my wife and I walked down the aisle.  Somehow, despite busy schedules, lockdowns, and all manner of other life events, we had found a way to make things work and have committed to each other going forward.  As we begin married life together, communication is key.

As Boys’ Brigade leaders, we walk a careful line of wanting the very best for the children entrusted to us, the families we meet, the churches we work, with and the mission of making Jesus known.  Building and maintaining the essential but authentic relationships to enable this ministry requires a lot of careful communication and can be a daunting challenge for even the most seasoned of leaders.

In the last couple of months, my Boys’ Brigade battalion has begun the journey of auditing how we communicate with our wider community.  We have acknowledged that, beyond our Brigade nights, many of the great things our Boys’ Brigade groups do can go unseen or unnoticed.  Therefore, we have had to consider how we could do this better.  Like many other groups, we started by awkwardly looking at our out-of-date church notice board and realised that we had let that slip for a while longer than we should!

Consequently, after recognising that we were invisible outside of our church fore walls, we have begun a bit of a learning curve with the technology.  Thankfully there are quality resources, tips and guidance available on the Boys’ Brigade UK website, insightful contributions on the Boys’ Brigade Leaders Facebook page, and helpful BBHQ staff on email.  Happily, this has all assisted us with getting BB noticed in our local area again and has brought new people through the door.

A decade ago, when I initially agreed to help my uncle’s BB group ‘as an extra adult’, I wouldn’t have dreamed of trying to get to grips of the nuances of web domain hosting, Google search algorithms, or social network profiles.  However, ten years on, I have enjoyed the various leadership experiences and training that being part of BB has given me, including upskilling my tech abilities.

So, as 2023 begins and we consider our resolutions for our BB children, families, churches and wider communities, perhaps you may join us in placing dialogue, engagement and communication high up on the list.  Who knows, there might just be someone around that your group could ask to lend a hand too?

James Powell
Vice President (London District)
Battalion Helper (Havering & Brentwood Battalion)

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