Renewing Communication: Spirit-Shaped Approaches for Children, Youth, and Families, By Colleen R. Derr alt

Renewing Communication

Spirit-Shaped Approaches for Children, Youth, and Families

by Colleen R. Derr

Renewing Communication
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: February 04, 2020
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5795
  • ISBN: 9780830857951

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We are constantly communicating. Whether written or verbal, formal or informal, in actions or expressions, what we say and do carries meaning that affects those around us. Christian leaders are called to make disciples by teaching, so how can we make the most of all our communication to help others become more like Christ? In Renewing Communication, Colleen Derr shows that transformational communication needn't be limited to the pulpit or classroom, but can include everyday interactions and relationships.

Derr draws on decades of experience in education and church ministry to offer a holistic strategy for transformational communication. She guides readers through the entire communication process, from defining the need to determining next steps, and addresses a variety of channels, from formal teaching and preaching to small groups, written communication, and even casual conversations.

With particular care for the specific needs of children, teens, and adults, Derr addresses

  • theories of human development
  • how to understand your audience and context
  • setting specific goals
  • nonverbal communication
  • effective techniques
  • using creativity
  • evaluation and assessment

Above all, Derr emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit as the agent of true transformation who is present in every conversation. Transformational communication powered by the Spirit must begin with a transformed communicator and take place through authentic, caring, and trusting relationships. Educators, students, church leaders, and those who minister to any age group will find guidance to communicate with hearers in a way that enables life-giving change.

"This splendid book is truly transformational. Read it and grow as a godly communicator in every aspect of your life."

Quentin Schultze, professor of communication emeritus, Calvin College

"Colleen Derr has put forth a biblically, theologically, and practically rich volume that will surely empower the church to engage in Spirit-driven communication that will transform ministries with children, youth, and adults. Derr has the rare ability to take you deeply into the resources of the Christian tradition while providing concrete recommendations that will transform your ministry. This is a must-read for every pastor, teacher, and leader in the church today."

Ben Espinoza, senior associate editor, The Journal of Youth Ministry, PhD candidate, Michigan State University

"Renewing Communication is more than just a book. It is a guide based on a biblical foundation, solid research, life stories, and compelling writing that stretches readers to think beyond themselves and the present. The audience for this work is vast—church leaders both lay and clergy, parents, business leaders at all levels, global leaders, political leaders, and academic leaders. It would serve as an effective resource for groups of all combinations of backgrounds. I can only imagine what would happen in our world if readers would be courageous enough to follow what has been written here. Great Hope!"

Jo Anne Lyon, Ambassador and General Superintendent Emerita, The Wesleyan Church

"Where was this book when I started in ministry twenty years ago? Here's what we know . . . great leaders are great communicators. Dr. Colleen Derr is one of those great communicators and has written a book that every pastor, teacher, and communicator must read!"

Ryan Frank, CEO/Publisher, KidzMatter

"Colleen Derr speaks of Christian formation as if the Holy Spirit actually matters. Her writing is carefully nuanced between the work of the Spirit and the work of the person as compelled by the Holy Spirit. She operates with a rich pneumatology and creates a compelling vision for what a transformed church might look like. Bathed in Scripture, this book is a helpful tool for anyone who desires to communicate in a way that actually affects lives."

Amanda J. Drury, associate professor of practical theology, Indiana Wesleyan University

"Colleen, who is a brilliant educator and communicator, has tapped into a missing component that could change how we interact—by knowing our leadership does not occur without relationship. She helps us understand how Christ calls us to transform in order to be transformational in other people's lives."

Ron Hunter Jr., D6 conference director and author of Toy Box Leadership



Part I: Foundations of Transformational Communication
1. The Role of the Holy Spirit in Transformational Communication
2. Transformation and You: The Transformed Communicator
3. Relationships and Transformational Communication

Part II: Preparation for Transformational Communication
4. Reality Check: Define the Purpose, the Need, and the Present Reality
5. Reading the Room: Determining the Location of Every Individual
6. Communicating with the End in Mind: Determining Reasonable, Measurable, and Holistic Goals

Part III: Engagement in Transformational Communication
7. The Loudest Words Are Not Spoken
8. The Role of Proclamation in Communication
9. Creative and Experiential Communication
10. Discernment and Adjustment During Communication

Part IV: Evaluation of Transformational Communication
11. Defining Success: Evaluation and Assessment in Communication
12. Celebrating and Determining Next Steps

Name and Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Colleen R. Derr (EdD, Regent University) is president of Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, where she played an integral role in the development of the Master of Arts in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation programs. With over thirty years of experience in local church ministry, she has developed a catechism program for the Wesleyan Church, Building Faith Kids; a preteen discipleship resource, Explore; and numerous training and leadership development tools.