teachChangeNote: Howard Hendricks went to be with the Lord on Feb 20, 2013. This is part of a series of articles published in his honor.

Malcolm Muggeridge noted a surprising feature held in common by almost all books on communication—“a singular incapacity to communicate.”

Not long ago I read a tome—850 pages—on the communication process, which I recommend if you’re having problems with insomnia. It’s absolutely paralyzing.

But then, communication is no piece of cake. And if you have a healthy respect for the difficulty of this process, you’ll pray more intelligently, you’ll study and work harder, and you’ll learn to trust God at a deeper level.

A company in Chicago went bankrupt only a year after making a two-million-dollar profit. The reason: They failed to understand what business they were in. They thought they were in the bobby-pin business instead of the hair-care business. When women stopped using bobby pins, the company was finished.

So don’t forget what business we’re in—the business of communication. Communication is the reason for our existence as teachers. It’s also our number one teaching problem.


The word communication comes from the Latin word communis, meaning “common.” Before we can communicate, we must establish commonness, commonality. And the greater the commonality, the greater the potential for communication.

Teaching to Change Lives: Seven Proven Ways to Make Your Teaching Come Alive by Howard Dr Hendricks