Trust Building
Loving, Listening, and Leading More Like Jesus

Book Details

Discerning Reader Editorial Review

Reviewed 08/11/2011 by Mark Tubbs.

Recommended. An imperfect but helpful presentation of how to exercise trust-building words and actions and how to avoid trust-busting ones.

Trust is elusive and effervescent, even for Christians. Trust can be obtained one day and lost the next with a mere eye-roll or snide remark, never to be regained. Because trust is such a slippery thing, Equipping Ministries International, headed by CEO Dave Ping, has teamed up with Standard Publishing to produce a DVD study series and accompanying participant guide to teach groups how to build up trust and restore it when it is lost - which happens all too easily.

Overall I was very pleased with the presentation of these materials. The DVD and five participant guides are packaged in an attractive grey and green magnetized box, which fits neatly alongside other DVD cases in your entertainment cabinet. In terms of visual presentation, I was also very impressed. Presenter Joe Boyd, interviewer Elisa Morgan, and the various experts all came across as eminently knowledgeable and suitably trustworthy. The only complaint I would have in the presentation department would be that the vignettes were often over-acted; so much so that it was hard to take them seriously, especially "Pastor Bill." I do understand that they were scripted thus in order to emphasize the trust-building and trust-busting words and actions that the producers want participants to take away from these sessions, but I'm afraid the over-acting may overwhelm the message.

Content-wise, the experts offer plenty of food for thought. The discussions of verbal, nonverbal, and behavorial trust-builders and trust-busters provide many take-away nuggets, some of which I will reproduce below. But I thought the Spiritual Trust Building section received short shrift. This gap was evident not only in the brief section at the end of the participant guide, but also in the way major aspects of Christian discipleship are all but overlooked: gossip, anger, the golden rule, and honoring parents. To rectify these oversights, the video could have benefitted from beginning with a few minutes devoted to a solid theology of trust. Instead, it begins with the theologically debatable statement that "Sometimes we communicate things in our words and actions that don't line up with who we really are." On one level this statement is accurate, on another it's not. Even by the end of the DVD we do not know exactly what host Joe Boyd meant by it.

Since there is not a great deal of curriculum on this topic, groups would do well to invest $30-$40 on this set; it will assuredly benefit the culture of your church or workplace even if you cringe at some of the vignettes like I did. 

To round of this review, here are some notable soundbytes:

We can't make others trust us, but we can show ourselves trustworthy.

Most basic levels of trust are usually established or eroded without us even noticing. This happens through eye contact, body language, and other subtle nonverbal cues.

The best leaders are interested, not interesting.

When you start to feel revved up about something, don't just feel. Climb inside and think about your feelings. What is your body doing?

To build trust, I have to listen to this world you live in. I validate your feelings, earning the right to speak the truth by encouraging and challenging.

As trust grows, so does the organization. Trust breeds trust, and distrust breeds distrust.

In New Testament Greek, "trust" is the active verb form of the word "faith."