Monthly Archives

October 2015


To Build a Generosity Story, Start with Why

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Leaders move fast. Leaders get stuff done. Leaders solve problems and point the way. But leaders also often talk about solutions and moving in a new direction long before others even realize a problem exists.

They start with the “what” and not the “why.”

I personally experienced this phenomenon while repairing a section of my backyard fence. As any father would do in the hopes of effectively leading his family, I told my two oldest sons that they would be helping me with the project. In every aspect of the job—from demolition of the broken fence to setting posts to nailing new fence slats—I found myself explaining the “what” of our process several times. “We need to do this first so that….” “This hole needs to be a few inches bigger in order to….” As a result, very little of our work was inspiring.

I see the same thing play out in the local church.
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Details Matter—In Stories and in Design

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Every story can be told in a variety of ways. For example, let’s compare the following texts:

Version #1:
When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem’s fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right; when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn’t have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt.

Version #2:
When he was a kid, my relative hurt his limb. It got better later—even giving him confidence he could play sports again. His arms weren’t identical, with one hand and one finger facing odd ways. But it didn’t matter, as long as he could put a ball in motion.

What do you think? It’s the exact same story told in two different ways. Which one intrigues you? Which one bores you?
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How to Discover the Truth About Your Church

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Recently, my daughter and I had the following exchange after she returned home from school one day:

Me: “How was your day?”
My daughter: “Okay.”
Me: “Did you have fun? Learn anything?”
My daughter: “No.”

After this thrilling dialogue, I thought to myself: Should I just go about my day? Accept her evasive answers and assume she was okay?
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