Q&A With Jedd & Erik - revised 10/09/04

What is the need for a book like The Revolutionary Communicator?
Most all of us want to build fuller, deeper connection with the people around us, and to have an enduring impact on our world. We also desire to see more a tangible bond between spiritual truth and the humdrum of our workaday lives. The Revolutionary Communicator explores practical paths for pursuing this way of life as apprentices to Jesus in the way we communicate.

What are the “seven communication principles Jesus lived”?
Jesus practiced deep attentiveness (Chapter 1). He met people on their turf and in their terms (Chapter 2). He frequently built his communication around question-asking (Chapter 3). He offered himself with transparency (Chapter 4). He expressed ideas through stories (Chapter 5). He viewed time away from the crowd as more important than time in front of it (Chapter 6). He set his course by defining true communication success (Chapter 7).

Isn’t what Jesus communicated and who he was more important than how he communicated?
Definitely. But we also need to see that Jesus’ way of communicating was itself a critical aspect of what he desired to convey. In Jesus, the medium was inseparable from the message. His person and character blazed in his approach to human interaction, teaching and relationship. If we desire to “walk as Jesus did,” few things would seem as important as learning to take on his way of communicating.

Who is your primary audience for this book?
We certainly hope professional communicators—teachers, executives, pastors, consultants—will be captured by Jesus’ way of communication and find a great deal to put into practice. But even people who’d rather be electrocuted than speak publicly communicate continually with their spouse, co-workers, children, and friends. This book is written for all who want to carry more meaningful influence in others’ lives, who desire deeper connection with friends and family, and who hope to impact their world with a vision larger than themselves.

Is The Revolutionary Communicator only for Christians?
No. Inevitably, the book reflects the deep faith in Jesus we hold. But we also sought to steer clear of the religiousity, culture-based assumptions, and warm-and-fuzzy platitudes that often obscure him. We wrote hoping that this book would be drawing to people who currently look at Jesus only from a distance. They respect Jesus and his indelible effect on history, but don’t know quite what to make of him. The flow of the book invites these individuals to encounter Jesus much like the people of Jesus’ day. He is the great rabbi, a teacher, yet somehow undeniably more, both disturbing and inspiring, subversive yet teaching with resounding authority.
In short, we hope the book will allow those who know Jesus well and those who do not to encounter him in a way they never before have.

Has writing this book impacted your own communication?
Absolutely. Communication is our vocation, and we’ve studied the subject on the academic side as well. But to write this book with authenticity, we couldn’t just impute to Jesus our own long-held assumptions about communication. We wanted to dig into the Gospel accounts as sincere learners—asking, “How did Jesus communicate, really?”—even if his way ran counter to our own.
In truth, confronting Jesus’ skill in this realm has one of the most rousing experiences of our lives. Both professionally and personally, it’s reshaped our approach to communication. Seeing the power of question-asking, the desperate human need for attentiveness, the tremendous significance of story-telling, and other aspects of Jesus’ way has given us an overwhelming sense that every human interaction carries far more potential than we once imagined.

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