Seven things we do that make us less effective as communicators.

As communicators we want our message to get across to the audience in such a way they actually change. Sometimes, however, how we deliver the message actually keeps the message from hitting home deep into the heart of the listener.

Here are seven things that I have learned (mostly the hard way) that keep us from effectively getting our message to them.

1. Consistent passionate and loud voice flexions. 

Passion is a great thing. Moving your voice to a new level of intensity is good. However, being passionate and loud all the way from the introduction to the closing point, gets old to the listener very quickly. 

Here's a tip - let the content dictate when you go up and down in your voice flexions. Let you message breath a little. Think through when you are going to speak in normal voice, when you are going to crank it up a bit

2. Too much body movement on stage. 

Moving around the stage is a “must do” in speaking and using your hands is a very engaging thing, however, it is possible to move around so much that you take away from the message or point you are trying to make. 

Stay in control. Use your body to sell the point, to engage the listener, or get more involved as a speaker. But don't let what you do, be a distraction to what you are trying to say. 

3. When feel like you're losing the crowd you drop a cheap joke or give a golden nugget of truth. 

As communicators we have all been here many times. You feel like your point is not sinking in. You don’t feel like the crowd is with you, so you throw out a quick silly joke to get the crowd to laugh and participate. Or you throw out a golden nugget that is very true and very good, however, it has absolutely nothing to do with the message you are speaking. You just threw it out there because you felt like you are losing the crowd. 

Here’s the thing, you may be losing the crowd … but you may not be. Sometimes people are just listening (thats a good thing). As a communicator we have to lean in on our preparation and trust that we have the content that people need to hear. There is nothing wrong with making onstage modifications like being funny or dropping awe inspiring truths but always trust your content … don't do things to cheapen, or shortchange it. 

4. Telling the same story the same way you told it before. 

Sometimes, especially, if you travel and speak you will tell a story that you have told many times before. That is more than fine, because most likely the people you are speaking to have never heard the story.

The problem is, that as the speaker you have heard the story far to many times. You know the story up and down, backwards and forwards. You know the sad parts and you know the parts where everyone is going to laugh. 

All of that is fine, however, the problem comes when we get into “robot mode” in telling the story.  Robot mode sucks for the listener! Every time you tell the story you have to be “in the moment” and let the story shrink and expand to the environment you are currently in. 

Trust me, as a guy who speaks for a living every weekend as well as speaks at and attends many conferences every year … people know when you have told the story before.  Here are some tell tell signs that you are telling a story that you’ve told many times before. 

You are talking very fast. 

You know the content so well, you are flying through it.

You pause for laughter at just the perfect time. 

That is really awkward when the crowd does not laugh on cue. 

You drum up an emotional response

Pull up the tears and voice flexion changes, when you really aren’t feeling anything in the moment, but you do it because thats what the story demands

I speak three times every Sunday, so every week I am telling the same story at least three times. I also travel and speak each month and sometimes have stories that I use repeatedly in certain . Two things that I do to keep a story fresh in my heart is: I tell the story in a different order, or I leave a part of the story out. This mixes things up in my head and keeps it fresh in the moment. 

5. Spend so much time on your personal story it takes  away from the actual point you are making. 

Our personal story is not the point of the message we are giving. It is a tool that we use to set up the point or apply the point. But it is not the point. As communicators we need to spend more time on the point and less time on our story. 

6. Skim across six points but never unpack one. 

Every time we speak, we are speaking for change. We want the listener to change something. It is easier for them leave inspired to live differently, when they hear the details of one thing, rather than an overview of five or six things. 

7. Give why and the what, but never give the how. 

If you are speaking about making disciples, you need to explain WHY we should disciple, WHAT is a disciple, and then HOW we actually make a disciple. The why inspires. The what gives clarity. But it is the how, that they actually use. Never forget the how.

Here are a few questions:

Which of these seven do you typically struggle with?

Why is it that you struggle with it?

What changes can you make in preparation to remedy these? 

I would love to hear from you - comment below - or email me at  

The tale of two brothers. (A journey through suffering)


Today in my devotional time I read Genesis chapter 37 - 41. As I was reading, I was reminded that years ago I spoke a message titled, “The tale of two brothers”

In Genesis chapters 37, 39, 40 and 41 we see the story of Joseph going through unbelievably tough times. We see him prevailing through adversity, staying faithful to God and God moving him to a place of promotion.

However, right in the middle of Joseph’s story, we see in Genesis chapter 38, the life of his brother Judah. During the same time frame that Joseph is going through his tough time, Judah has his own personal journey through suffering. One of his sons die. Not too long after that he loses another son to premature death. (On a side note - both of his sons were extremely wicked. They were so wicked in fact at the Bible says that God is the one who killed them.)  

After the death of two of his sons, Judah makes a promise to his daughter in law Tamar. Judah is not an honest man, so he does not keep his word. She is very bitter and wants to pay him back. A little while after his wife passes away, Judah is going into the city. He sees what he thinks is a prostitute and wants to pay her for her "services". Judah sleeps with the prostitute and gives her one of his rings as payment. 

Judah doesn't realize it but the prostitute is actually Tamar. She wanted to trick him and cause him to pay for breaking the promise he made to her. So, she dressed up like a prostitute with the hopes of becoming pregnant by Judah. This is not because she loves him, but because she hates him. Tamar, wants to embarrass Judah, forcing him to take care of her and the child. 

Tamar becomes pregnant with Judah's child. When Judah finds out Tamar is pregnant, (not knowing he is the father) he calls for her to come to him. He doesn't call for her because he cares for her. No, Judah wants to bring her in front of all of the people so they can judge her and kill her for sin.  

When Tamar arrives, and Judah begins to confront her in front of the people, she says it was you who got me pregnant and presents him with the ring that he gave her. 

Judah's life was an absolute mess. He loses two sons. He loses his wife. He was embarrassed in front of all of his friends because he got his daughter in law pregnant. Welcome to the Jerry Springer show! 

But you know what, Josephs life was a mess too. He was sold into slavery by his brothers. He was falsely accused of raping his masters wife. He was thrown into prison. He was forgotten and sat in the prison for several years. 

As I look at these two stories, I am reminded that in life no matter who you are, tough times are going to come your way. In fact, I would say the question is not, "will tough times come". The bigger question to ask is, "why are they coming".

Judah went through crazy tough times. But he went through them because he did not follow God and kept falling into holes that he had dug with his own bad decisions.  

Joseph went through tough times. But the tough times he went through were because he was following God. Being betrayed, sold into slavery, and put into prison, were steps God was taking Joseph through. God wanted to move Joseph from where he was, to where he needed to be. God wanted to help Joseph become what He had destined him to be. 

If tough times are going to come no matter how you and I live.  I think it would be much better to live like Joseph. Walk with God. Obey His word. Let him lead me through the hard times to get to His plan for my life. 

To discover more about why suffering comes and what to do when it hits, listen to a podcast we recently posted on our Lets Talk Life and Leadership Podcast. 



"I pastor a small church". What does that really mean anyway?


Years ago I was speaking at a Regional Leadership Conference. After one of my sessions I opened it up for some Q and A. After about five questions I started to notice a theme. Every question started like this … “I’m a Pastor at a small church” or “We have some great things going even though we are a small congregation”. Everyone in the room all of churches of different sizes, were all saying “I’m at a small church ” or “I lead a small youth group”.

Small … Small .. Small. That is how they were defining themselves. As I stood there listening, I decided to ask them a question. “Small? Would you define that please?” I went on to say “What is a small church? What is a small youth group? What is small? 

When you think about it, a youth group with 10 feels small compared to a group of 50. But the Church of 50 people feels small compared to the church that reaches 100. And the ministry of 100 feels tiny compared to a huge church that ministers to 1,000. However, the church that reaches 5,000 remembers back in the day with they were small and only reached 1,000 people. So what is small? Is small 10 – 50 – 100 or 1,000. Each ministry is large to one group, but feels small when they compare themselves to another.

Here is something I really think we need to remember.
Large or Small is not defined by how many people sit in your seats as much as it is by where you are planning on taking them.


Topic and interview list of Lets Talk Podcast.


This past week, we launched our brand new podcast titled Lets Talk Life and Leadership.

Each month I have the honor of interviewing leaders from every walk of life. These conversations are designed to help you lead yourself, family, team, and organization better than ever before. 

Here is the short list of the topics and the leaders we will be talking with this coming year on Lets Talk.

Teaching and preaching more effective sermons. 

In this episode I will be interviewing Dan Lian and Brad Cooper from Newspring Church. They are incredible speakers and have practical insights for every type of communicator. 

Lessons learned from a first time Senior Pastor. 

I have the honor of sitting down with my good friend Whit George. Whit has stepped into the Senior Pastor position at Church on the Move. He talks about the ups and downs of his journey of being the Senior Leader for the very first time. 

How to make a father / son ministry team work. 

This is a very open conversation with my son Jordan Moore. We have worked side by side in ministry in some way for more than 7 years. We get into the good, bad, and ugly of making it work. 

Leading through tough times. 

Adam Starling is the Senior Pastor of Victory Family Church in Norman, Ok. His church body is growing rapidly, however, it has not always been easy. In this episode, Adam will talk about some of the things he has done to lead his organization through tough times. 

Leading life giving small groups. 

Growth happens best in a group. Dereck Olsen from the Small Group Network will be giving us helpful tips on how to be a part of a church that has an growing small group ministry. 

Getting off of "Leadership Island". 

Dan Ohlerking from the ARC church planting network works with Senior Pastors all over America that are not just feeling alone, they are alone. He shares invaluable tips on the dangers of isolation and the joys of community. 

Merging Marriage and Ministry. 

Veronica and I have been married for 28 years. We have served in one form of ministry or another for 26 of those years. This conversation is very real and raw, as we open up and talk about how to make a marriage work in the midst of leading in public ministry. 

Making a long term impact in a community. 

Brian Shepherd is the principle of Ligonier Elementary School. He has served in the Ligonier school system for more than 30 years. In this episode Brian talks about leadership, as well as the joys of digging deep and leaving an imprint in a community. 

Pastoring in a small town. 

Dave Engbrecht is one of the mentors in my life. He Pastors Nappanee Missionary Church. A large, vibrant, influential church, in a rural community of only 6,000 people. If you want to discover secrets on making a huge impact in a rural setting, you will want to download this conversation for sure! 

The good, the bad, and the ugly of transitions. 

Veronica and I have four children. Raging from the ages of 10 to 26. We have moved three times as a family and it has not always been easy. In this very special episode I have the opportunity to sit down with my wife and kids as they openly discuss the "how to's" and "hurts" of transitions. 

Getting to the Heart of Leadership. 

This is our very first podcast where I interviewed Todd Gongwer the author of Lead for Gods Sake, a book that is affecting teams, and coaches everywhere! One of the things that Todd unpacks in this episode is the importance of not striving to be the best. I know you will love this conversation. 

These are just a few of the topics we will be tackling and leaders we are sitting down with the year at Lets Talk Life and Leadership. To listen and subscribe to the podcast just click the link below. 






Everything is changing. What is your church doing about it?


The world we live in is changing. Whether we like it or not, how we shop, how we communicate, how we learn. Is totally different then even five years ago. 

Take shopping for instance. 

The days of having to go to a "brick and mortar" actual store to purchase things are gone. Amazon and online venues like it have changed the landscape of how people get the things they need and want. We no longer live in an analog world. Businesses that treat technology like an enemy to fight rather than a sword to fight with, will lose influence, lose customers, and eventually close their doors. 

The same is true for the Church. 

The days of church attendance being a weekly priority for the majority are gone. The way people think about church has changed. 

The days of getting in the car and driving to church "every Sunday" are gone. The average church attendee now attends a service 1 to 2 times per month at best. The way people worship has changed. 

Do I like this? No.

Do I think this is a good thing? No. 

Is this reality. Yes. 

So I (and all church leaders) have a choice. I can burry my head in the sand. I can act like everything is the same as it was 20 years ago and wait for people to come to my church. Or, I can become a student of the culture around me and leverage the tools I have at my disposal to take my church to the people. 

One of the greatest tools that we have at our disposal is the internet. Everyone will not come to me to hear the message. However, everyone does have a smart phone, tablet, and/or computer. So why not use the internet to take the message to them? 

Youtube Channel

We have set up TheCHURCH at Visalia Channel on Youtube. Each week we video our 9am message and post it on our page. If someone misses a service, they can watch it on youtube. If someone has a friend that needs to hear the message from our live gathering., they can send their friend who could not or would not attend, the link to view online.

A few years ago we set up our online church page. We take the 9am video and post it on our site  offering online services at 7pm on Sunday and 4pm and 7pm on Tuesdays.  This was designed for people that missed a service, don't live close enough to attend physically, or don't go to church but want to check out the message. 

Just this past weekend we changed our online gathering to run every hour on the hour. So now we have a place where our church body can not only go themselves, but they can send their friends to twenty-four hours a day to hear the good news of Jesus! 

In just three days we have had 142 people view our message at 

I think we as church leaders have to decide what business are we in. Are we in the "get people to sit in our seats on the weekend" business. Or, are we in the "go into all the world and make disciples" business.

I know. I know. Watching a video message online is not discipleship. I totally agree. However, watching online is a way to get people far from God to take a step toward him. 

Closing Thoughts

We are just getting started with using "online" as a tool for the kingdom. In October we are making a few more changes that will help us be even more effective at getting the gospel to the people. 

Like it or not, we no longer live in an either or society. People don't either shop at Target or shop at People shop at both. The reality is people don't either attend the weekend gathering or attend online. People attend both. 

The CEO of Home Depot has said, "The more we put time and money into our online store, the more increase we see at our local box stores". 

We have seen the same thing at TheCHURCH. The more we focus on creating online venues, the more our live gathering attracts people. in June, July, and August our online venues have exploded in growth, and at the same time we have grown by 20% in our 9am and 11am services. We have added to our volunteer teams, and seen more than 25 people come to Christ. 

Application Questions:

What trends have you seen in your church as far as weekly attendance?

What do you currently do online?

Do you have anyone at your church who could head up an online ministry?