NARRATOLOGY & 3 dos/don’ts to creating & telling a “sticky story” #CarolynOHara #Har vardBusinessReview

by Carolyn O’Hara, Harvard Business Review Ascend, 1/17/18.

…What the Experts Say

In our information-saturated age, business leaders “won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories,” says Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues and president and founder of Public Words, a communications consulting firm. “Facts and figures and all the rational things that we think are important in the business world actually don’t stick in our minds at all,” he says. But stories create “sticky” memories by attaching emotions to things that happen…


  • Consider your audience — choose a framework and details that will best resonate with your listeners.
  • Identify the moral or message your want to impart.
  • Find inspiration in your life experiences.


  • Assume you don’t have storytelling chops — we all have it in us to tell memorable stories.
  • Give yourself the starring role.
  • Overwhelm your story with unnecessary details.

Read a case-study and more at …

TRENDS & The role of the Christian college/seminary in preventing Douthat’s “crackup ” of Evangelicals #RichardMouw #CCCU

by Richard Mouw, Christianity Today, 1/3/18.

… New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has written recently about what he sees as a possible “crackup” that may be coming in the evangelical community…

One problem with the Douthat scenario is that it suggests that there is a significant gap between the vast majority of “ordinary” evangelicals and a much smaller band of “evangelical intellectuals.” To see whether that picture is really accurate, we have to fill in some specific detail.

There is, in fact, a rather significant network of evangelical academic institutions in North America. The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) has a membership of 140 evangelical schools, with a total enrollment of over 300,000 students. In addition, the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) reports that of the 270 member institutions that it accredits in North America, 40 percent of these seminaries identify themselves as evangelical, and their student bodies account for 60 percent—about 40,000 students—of those enrolled in graduate theological education. If we add to those numbers the many Bible institutes, colleges, and seminaries who are not members of either the CCCU or the ATS, it is fair to say that “evangelical intellectuals” are presently teaching almost a half-million students who have chosen to attend self-identified evangelical schools.

The majority of those students come from evangelical churches. And they will take what they learned from “evangelical intellectuals” into professional life when they graduate. This is not exactly a picture of ivory tower elites who live in a very different world than grassroots evangelicalism…

A well-known scholar—himself a secular Jew—once spent some time working on a project at Fuller Seminary. He was a good friend, and he made a point of sharing with me his impressions of what he experienced at Fuller. “This is a unique place, Richard,” he said. “Right now your faculty is holding two things together in an impressive manner. You have top-notch scholarship and you have strong connections to the grassroots.” Then he went on: “But you can’t keep that up. Eventually you will either dumb down your scholarship or you will lose touch with the grassroots. Holding the two in tension is great while it lasts, but it will inevitably come apart.”

I responded by telling him that Fuller was only one of many evangelical campuses where the successful holding-together was happening. And I said that I was confident we could all keep doing it well…

Ross Douthat’s “crackup” scenario is, in effect, a prediction that the defeat is coming. It does not have to happen that way, though…

Read more at …

CONVERSION GROWTH & “If we add to our churches otherwise than by the power of the Spirit of God making men new creatures in Christ Jesus, the increase is of no worth whatsoever.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1892, vol. 38, p. 339, sermon #2265

(Full quote)

“If we add to our churches by excitement, by making appeals to the passions, rather than by explaining truth to the understanding; if we add to our churches otherwise than by the power of the Spirit of God making men new creatures in Christ Jesus, the increase is of no worth whatsoever.”

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PROSPERITY & Two scholarly evaluations of the prosperity theology

Commentary by Prof. B.: In my courses, I encourage student discussions between different theological viewpoints. And one that often comes up is about a so-called prosperity theology.

For an overview of the prosperity movement and its influence on modern church leadership see Simon Coleman, The Globalization of Charismatic Christianity: Spreading the Gospel of Prosperity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000).

And, for an interesting examination of prosperity in African-American congregations see Stephanie Y. Mitchem, Name It and Claim It? Prosperity Preaching in the Black Church (Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 2007).

Excerpted from Organix: Signs of Leadership in a Changing Church, by Bob Whitesel (Abingdon Press). Used with permission.

TEAMWORK & When finances are tight – people are less likely to work together as a team #AMJ

Commentary by Prof. B: This research in the “Academy of Management Journal” points out that when finances are tight, you have to work harder to create unity in a team. Hard economic times naturally pit team members against each other with competitive strategies and resource needs. Therefore be aware that when you encounter recessionary cycles (which this article points out happens multiple times in a career) that you must work extra hard to create cohesion in your team.

Economic Downturns Undermine Workplace Helping by Promoting a Zero-Sum Construal of Success

Authors, Nina Sirola111INSEAD and Marko Pitesa2Singapore Management University, doi: 10.5465/amj.2015.0804ACAD MANAGE J August 1, 2017 vol. 60 no. 4 1339-1359.


Workplace helping is essential to the success of organizations and economies. Given the economic benefits of helping, it seems important that, during difficult economic periods, the amount of helping does not decline. Yet, in this research, we propose and show that it does. We argue that cues that signal the economy is performing poorly prompt a construal that the success of one person implies less success for others. This zero-sum construal of success in turn makes employees less inclined to help. Four studies found evidence consistent with our theory. Study 1 found that worse economic periods are associated with a more zero-sum construal of success, using data from 59,694 respondents surveyed across 51 countries and 17 years and objective indicators of their macroeconomic environments. Studies 2 and 3 experimentally induced the perception that the U.S. economy was performing poorly with a sample of U.S. employees and found that this perception led employees to have a more zero-sum construal of success and made them less inclined to help. Study 4 was an unobtrusive experiment carried out among freelance professionals from 47 countries, and it found that participants’ perception that the economy in their country was in a downturn was associated with a more zero-sum construal of success and less helping behavior. This research demonstrates the importance of bridging the macro–micro divide in organizational sciences and considering the impact of macroeconomic changes on individual employee psychology and behavior.

TRENDS & Download the Baylor University Religion Survey Wave 5: Values, Mental Health & Using Technology

Commentary by Professor B: My colleague at Baylor university, Dr. Kevin Doherty, has contributed to this landmark study on what has given rise to the different perspectives, patterns and habits of Christians. For more insight to everything from the emergence of varied political viewpoints among Christians, the impact of technology and even the intersection of churches and mental health, then download this important study here:

(Contents retrieved from the above URL)


Findings from the Baylor Religion Survey, Wave 5


A. Core Values Paul Froese, Jeremy Uecker, and Kenneth Vaughan

B. Fear of the “Other” Jerry Park and James Davidson

C. Christian Nationalism Andrew Whitehead

D. America’s Four Gods Revisited Bob Thomson and Paul Froese


A. The Benefits of Heaven and the Pitfalls of Hell Lindsay Wilkinson and Paul Froese

B. Resilience in Stressful Times Renae Wilkinson

C. American Dignity Matthew A. Andersson and Steven Hitlin


A. Faith in the Internet Paul McClure

B. Technology Cohorts Justin Nelson


A. Church Commuting Kevin D. Dougherty

B. Rural Religiosity Michael Lotspeich

V. WAVE5 METHODS . . . . . .

ACCESS & How Far Do Americans Drive to Church? #BaylorUniversity

by Aaron Earls, LifeWay, 1/4/18.

Sixty-eight percent of churchgoers say it takes them 15 minutes or less to get from their home to their place of worship, according to new research from the Baylor Religion Survey.

Comparatively, the Census’ 2015 American Community Survey found the average work commute lasted 26.4 minutes—more than a four-minute increase since 1980. The drive times that grew the fastest between 2014 and 2015? Those that were over 90 minutes.

It seems churchgoers want a much quicker trip on the weekend. Two in 10 (21 percent) say their drive is five minutes or less. Almost half (47 percent) say it takes them six to 15 minutes. Twenty-three percent commute 16 to 30 minutes. And only 9 percent say it takes them longer than 30 minutes to drive to church…

Where people live also affects how long they drive to church. Those in small towns have the shortest commute. More than a quarter (27 percent) of small-town churchgoers live within five minutes of the church.

There are no significant differences in drives for those in rural areas, the suburbs, or large cities.

Commute times are important because Baylor found half of Americans who live within 15 minutes of their place of worship report attending services weekly or more.

“As the distance increases, the likelihood of weekly attendance decreases,” the report says. Fifty-three percent of those who live within five minutes attend weekly. Only 32 percent of those who live more than 30 minutes away do the same.

Read more at …