I spend a lot of time in strategic thought and discussions about how to move people to take another step toward a Christ-centered life. In our slice of "Churchdom," at some point during those conversations someone will say: "People just need to know that ____" or "If we could just teach people that _____" as if the primary reason people are less than Christ-centered is related to content.

You're never going to find me arguing against good content. We need to teach people the right things at the right time from the right source. Otherwise, any step we invite someone to take will be the wrong step.

But my experience is that very few people are motivated to move based strictly on content. Our decisions are much more visceral than that.

More and more I find myself trying to think along a dual track when we are thinking strategically. I do want to make sure we are informing people well but I also want to be sure that we are inspiring people to move.

Inspiring doesn't mean "gimmicky." More often than not I think gimmicks are counterproductive and a distraction. Inspiring people means giving them the picture of a reality they want more than anything else and presenting content through that lens. Tom Landry once told someone that the way to win championships was "to get a bunch of guys to do the hard work they hate more than anything else in the world so that they can achieve the one thing they want more than anything else in the world."

And inspiration has to stretch the gamut of what you're trying to do. It has to accompany any movement you hope people make: You have to inspire people to show up, inspire them to listen up, and inspire them to step up. Otherwise, the chances are, you're wasting your time.


Joe said...

Your Tom Landry quote reminded me of a Bobby Knight quote: "The key is not the will to win...everybody has that. It's the will to prepare to win that's important."

Not that relevant to your post, but a good quote.