Preaching and communicating are not necessarily the same thing.
This is not a post about preaching. This is a post about how some people are great preachers but not great communicators. There may be a difference.
I know and have heard some dynamic preachers. They can hold an audience in the palm of their hand. They evoke passions and emotions with their sermons. But too many of them are terrible communicators. What in the world do I mean?
Simply because a preacher can engage an audience does not mean that he or she is good at communication. The difference may be understood by categorizing communication into two groups: Group communication and individual communication.
Good preachers know the Bible.
They know how to utilize inflection and tone in their voice.
They use effective body language.
They are authoritative.
They are convincing.
But a guy or gal can be great at these things yet suffer from poor communication skills.
Good communicators look you in the eye and you know they are listening.
Good communicators return phone calls.
They answer emails.
They respond to others.
They remember what they told you and what you told them.
It is very difficult to be a good communicator unless you actually care.
I am not saying that good communication is more important than preaching. It is not. I am saying that preachers need to be reminded that good communication goes beyond the pulpit.
In my opinion, in order for a preacher to be effective, he or she must also be good at communicating with individuals. If he or she is not, they will need to make sure that someone close to them is good at this kind of communication and keeps them connected to the people around them. Otherwise, they lose credibility when their individual communication falls through the cracks. Their preaching will suffer because their smaller-scale communication is weak.
If you are a preacher, work on improving your preaching – it is a vitally important calling. But also work on your one-on-one communication. Pay attention to people. Respond accordingly. I think you will find that your preaching also improves.