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What you say in private …

Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof Tuesday November 10, 2009
<? echo $type; ?> What you say in private …

You’ve seen it happen on Twitter or e-mail: Messages that were intended to be direct messages (DMs) or private replies go public instead, all because the sender hit the wrong button. Fun times. Especially if you enjoy mild heart attacks.

Almost happened to me today on e-mail. It turns out I did NOT send what was supposed to be a private note to our leadership team as a “reply all” to a wider community. But for ten minutes, I was away from my screen and convinced myself I had hit the wrong button.

All I could think about is, “How would others read it?” It wasn’t a bad e-mail at all (nothing off-color or inappropriate), but something that was a celebration for our little leadership team might not be heard that way by others who were not celebrating the same news we got.

In the end, it was all good. But it made me think: Are my private conversations always ready to go public?

You know what I’m talking about … If the person you’re talking about walked in the room, would you still say what you had been saying? If someone else heard what you just said (or saw what you wrote), would it be all good? If your private note became your Facebook status, how cool would that be?

Jesus challenges me so deeply. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. What you say in private will be shouted from the rooftops.

I’m working to get to a place where all my DMs could be headlines and it really wouldn’t make a difference. Sometimes it might be a good thing to hit the wrong button just to test your character. What do you think?

Carey Nieuwhof is the founding pastor of Connexus Church, a growing multi-campus church north of Toronto and strategic partner of North Point Community Church. Prior to starting Connexus, Carey served for 12 years in a mainline church, transitioning three small congregations into a single, rapidly growing church. Carey is the author of several best-selling books, including the Amazon #1 best-selling Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow. He is also the author of Leading Change Without Losing It and co-author of Parenting Beyond Your Capacity. Carey writes one of today's most widely read Christian leadership blogs at www.careynieuwhof.com and hosts the top-rated Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast, where he interviews some of today's best leaders. He speaks to North American and global leaders about leadership, change and personal growth. He and his wife Toni live near Barrie, Ontario and have two sons.