Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The Three C’s

Written by: on September 17, 2015

The Three C’s




That is the mantra of my lead pastor.  Communication must be the three C’s.  He preaches it, speaks it and fully believes in it.  There are even times that he stops what is going on in a meeting to emphasize these principles.   I have worked with him for over 14 years and I know them really well.

 In this simple book, I believe I have found the fourth C.  Critical thinking is the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it.[1]   Maybe the fourth C is the most important C because it leads to effective thinking which can help to accomplish the other three. 

 Combining this book with the writings of Kate Turabian in her book, A Manual for Writers, brings me to the crossroads of changing how I think, process, question, reason and write.  She states that people will “judge your work not just by the quality of your answer, but by the significance of your question.”[2]  The art of question asking is so well defined throughout this guide that I know it will be open all the time as I proceed forward as a communicator and a writer. 

 So here we go.  Bringing the fourth C to the other three.

 1.  Clear:  Clarity, could you elaborate further on this point?  Could you express that point in another way?  Could you give an illustration?  Could you give me an example?

 2.  Concise:  Depth,  how does your answer address the complexities in the question?  Are you dealing with the most significant factors?

                      Breadth,   Do we need to consider another point of view?   Is there another way to look at this question? 

 3.  Comprehensive:  Precision,  can you give me more detail?  Could you be more specific?

                      Logic, does this really make sense?  Does that follow from what you said? 

                      Accuracy, is that really true?  How could we check that?  How could we find out if that is true? 

 By applying the universal intellectual standards from page eight and nine to the three C’s, I believe it is now immersed in the fourth C.[3]   Critical thinking takes you to a deeper place of understanding by intellectual questioning.

 4.  Critical Thinker:  now I have a process for the three C’s to go through. 

 Already I have started to improve by asking questions that must be answered, to bring the quality of my work to a significant new level.  



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[1] Richard Paul and Elder, Linda, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, (Seventh Edition, 2014,) p. 2.

[2] Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London,  2008) p. 11.

[3] Paul, IBID. p. 8-9.

About the Author


Kevin Norwood

My name is Kevin Norwood and I have been in youth ministry for the past 34 years. On February 14th, 1994, 27 years ago, we moved to Owasso OK and wow what a ride. My wife, Ann, is an RN and specializes in Clinical Documentation working from home. Maci is a my 21 year old daughter and she loves and shows horses. Her horse's name is Charlie. She is currently working with animals and loves to go on trail rides with her horse. London is my 10 year old son and he keeps me young. He absolutely loves life!! Golfing, baseball and Hawaii is his latest adventures. He skied for the first time in Colorado this year. I have started a coaching business for pastors at www.kevinnorwood.com and it is exciting the doors that God is opening. I earned my Doctorate in Leadership and Global Perspectives from George Fox on Feb 10, 2018.

4 responses to “The Three C’s”

  1. Claire Appiah says:

    When you related how much the Paul and Elder book has already influenced your way of thinking, I couldn’t help thinking how illuminating and life transforming all our reading material has been in this course. Week by week, we are continually being presented with new perspectives, new insights, and new ways of thinking, analyzing, and interpreting the world we live in. The wonderful thing about it all is that we get it!

  2. What a great concept to remember! Thank you for sharing, Kevin!

    Paul and Elder stressed the fact that critical thinking must stem from personal conviction – it must be engrained within our DNA. It sounds like your pastor has placed critical thinking at the top of his priorities. As I read through the book, I kept thinking of the common phrase: “Practice what you preach”. The authors propose that, “recognition of the need to be true to one’s own thinking; to be consistent in the intellectual standards one applies; to hold one’s self to the same rigorous standards of evidence and proof to which one holds one’s antagonists; to practice what one advocates for others” (Paul, 186). In short, Paul and Elder are encouraging us to be leaders who have personal ownership of conviction and critical thought. They’re asking us to hold ourselves to the standards we place on others and lead through example. It’s always encouraging to hear of leaders who model healthy leadership.

  3. Pablo Morales says:

    Kevin, thank you for sharing the four C’s. The fourth one really completes the previous three. With your permission, (and your pastor’s), I think I will use those four C’s now when I teach others about communication. Your post also reminded me of the three C’s of team formation proposed by Bill Hybels: Character, Competence, Chemistry. We’ve used those in our ministry, and they really help.

  4. Marc Andresen says:

    Kevin – what an awesome application: great syntopical process. I hope I can apply your applications to my reading and research and writing.

    I’d like to print this out and put it on my book stand next to the Adler rules.

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