Monday, January 05, 2009

Inspiring Passion and Action Through Communcation

Origami In the Pursuit of Perfection from MABONA ORIGAMI on Vimeo.

I loved this video. I love the idea of starting with the things available to you, and combining them in new and wonderful ways. I believe that God has give each of us the ability to bloom where we're planted, and it's up to us to seek out the best ways to bloom.

I've been working on some ideas for what we'll be doing at church over the next year. We're trying to emphasize outreach and evangelism. While we have what I think are some great ways to move forward in this direction, one of the areas that Don and I have seen most challenging is the preaching. Sure, you can get up and fuss at people and say, "We all need to be more evangelistic!" As a preacher, you can always just blurt out what needs to be said, pat yourself on the back for speaking "the truth in love", and saying, "If they don't do it, it's their problem." I think we can--and must--do better than that in teaching and equipping our members.

Fred Craddock's approach to communicating is the best I've seen. "Inductive preaching", he calls it. Rather than state the major point you're making, you walk them through the thoughts and emotions that built up to your point, allowing them to reach the conclusion through their own thought processes. Inductive preaching is much more difficult to do than deductive preaching, but when it connects, it's very powerful. I feel like we've got to find some ways to talk about reaching the lost that will evoke feelings of compassion for the lost souls of the world, but it is so difficult to help people develop passion unless there is some already there.

I'm curious about what you think: How can you communicate with people about evangelism in a way that makes them feel motivated to be more evangelistic?

How do you inspire passion in people?

What has your minister/church leader done that has caused passion about God's work to well up from within you?


  1. I've always heard that if I want to emphasize something via the pulpit, it's better done with a series than with a single, isolated sermon. And if you REALLY want to effect change within the church, make your emphasis a year-long devotion to a topic or a theme. What ends up happening where I work is that I'll poke or prod about evangelism from the pulpit from time to time. But I'll make sure that we have an adult Bible class series on Evangelism regularly.

    One thing I've found that works well in Bible classes on this topic is role play. For many folks, they have a tough time just learning how to break the ice. So we role play. I'll engineer a set of scenarios -- and we'll make it as specific as we can for the particular volunteer of the day so that it will be relevant to their actual context. And then they'll just be themselves trying to be evangelistic -- usually trying to implement some skill or tactic that I've taught them -- and I will be their unchurched/unbelieving friend or family member. And I will be TOUGH on them within the role play. And I *tell them* that I'm going to be tough on them on purpose. Why? Because I want them walking out of there thinking that they're not going to face anything out in the world any tougher than they have already faced in the classroom. I want them walking out confident & ready to go. After the role play, we make sure to spend time unpacking the encounter: starting with what the person did well, and then spending a little time coaching them up about where they can improve. The people like it.

    As far as motivating people toward evangelism, I'm the mode of thinking that it should come naturally. If people love being a Christian & if people love their church, then they'll want to share it with their friends. It's akin to Rick Warren's emphasis upon "church health" as opposed to "church growth:" if we build healthy churches -- good, fun, nurturing environments -- then they will grow on their own.

    I'll be interested to hear what others say...

  2. Mark, got the Christmas Card yesterday (we had out mail held while out of town). Great idea incorporating the letter in the card. I had no idea that yall went to St. Augustine in June...must have missed the blog post...St. Augustine is one of my FAVORITE cities. There is SO much to do. One of our favorite things to do is rent mopeds from a place right off A1A (near the old fort). You can ride them up and down A1A and any of the subdivisions along the way. Hopefully you'll be able to go back and see more of the city sometime. There is a great camp ground on Anistasia Island that can make the trip much more affordable.

  3. Hey bro, I have a new post I would love your insight on. Thanks!