NARRATIVE & How to Create a Powerful Narrative for Your Company- Combine experience with enthusiasm to tell your story.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: attaching a story to your mission can help people see how spiritual goals are attained through prayer, progress and God’s leading. Churches like 12Stone Church in Atlanta have effectively employed Old Testament stories to describe their missional journey. Check out this Inc. Magazine article for ideas how to craft a missional story.

By Frank Wazeter, Inc. Magazine, 6/6/22.

… In my early 20’s I was fortunate enough to be in charge of a small company. We didn’t implement any best practices because we didn’t know any better. It was run on sheer enthusiasm, power of vision and daring to dream in an idyllic version of how things could be. Keeping the entire company focused on the pursuit of idealism had a surprising result.

… As time went on, I gained battle-hardened experience through recessions, booms and struggles. By the time I started my own company, I knew how to profit from vision, but something along the way had gotten lost. Boldness was replaced by measured risk assessment and experience-driven insight.

Experience gives you the ability to seamlessly overcome obstacles and challenges, but it also makes you act more conservatively or become skeptical on what can and cannot work. Conservatism comes because we simply don’t want to experience painful learning curves all over again.

…What you must do is rekindle that purpose in order to capture its power. To do that you’ve got to be in the habit of constantly reminding yourself of what it was that made you start the company to begin with. Write out a bold manifesto for your vision of the future and go back to it every single day.

… When you operate your company from a bold manifesto, an interesting thing happens. People begin to get attracted to you in a way that’s simply more endearing and long lasting than focusing on the mechanical benefits of what it is you do or the mundane daily details of operating.

Your hiring gets better because you attract like minded people. Your marketing gets better because you operate from a place of passion. You attract better and longer lasting repeat customers because they’re bought into your vision and feel like they’re just as much a part of it.

What happens is you and your business become a part of a narrative. A part of a story, rather than simply another business out there.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/frank-wazeter/how-to-create-a-powerful-narrative-for-your-company.html

PREACHING & TEACHING: Researchers have found that framing is important; human memory doesn’t seem to fully engage in the absence of meaning and relevance. Explain how the biblical story is relevant to the listener, before telling the story.

Michelle D. Miller. (2014). Minds Online : Teaching Effectively with Technology. Harvard University Press.

Take a moment to read over the following set of instructions:

The first thing you want to do is decide how many items you want to incorporate. Take t hem out of t he container — it doesn’t matter which ones, as long as there aren’t any obvious signs of damage. Place them somewhere secure, as they tend to move without warning and this can be disastrous. Take the first one you want to deal with, and grasp it lightly along the short axis, then make contact between this and a fi rm but not sharp object. Be sure you also have an adequate container for the material inside. You can repeat this pro cess up to two times, but after three, you should probably start over. With practice, you will end up with a clean separation, but even experts find that it’s diffi cult to keep the various components totally under control. Remember, this is a skill that gets better with practice, and physical strength is less important than dexterity and fi nesse.45

If you read this paragraph in an online course, do you think you could accurately remember many of the key points? Or would it simply go past you in a swirl of confusing, disjointed details? But what if I told you that this “mystery process” was a description of cracking an egg? Look back at the paragraph— it probably seems far more memorable with that key piece of context. Framing is important; human memory doesn’t seem to fully engage in the absence of meaning and relevance. Thinking back to the “function-alist agenda,” this makes a lot of sense— why should we invest scarce cognitive resources on information that doesn’t complement what we already know about the world?

45 This “myster y pro cess” description is adapted from the experimental materials in J. D. Bransford and M. K. Johnson (1972), Contextual prerequi-sites for understanding: Some investigations of comprehension and recall, Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 11(6): 717– 726.

TESTIMONY & Congregations Where Teens Have a Voice #SayingIsBelieving

Mar 18, 2013

Amanda has been in youth ministry for almost 15 years. She has ministry degrees from both Indiana Wesleyan University and Princeton Theological Seminary, both of which prepared her for the life of a youth pastor in the local church. Following her time as a youth pastor, Amanda felt called back to school. After completing her Ph.D. in Practical Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, Amanda began teaching youth ministry courses at Indiana Wesleyan University. She loves to see teenagers find the empowerment they need to be able to express their faith in words and actions. Amanda balances the life of a professor in practical theology, a speaker, an author, a wife to John, and a mother to Sam and Clara.
This presentation was recorded live at The Summit, hosted by The Youth Cartel on November 10 and 11, 2012. The content is owned by the presenter, and may not be sold or used to generate revenue.
For information on the 2013 Summit, go to theyouthcartel.com/summit

TESTIMONY & Amanda Drury talks about her definition of testimony

The Yale Youth Ministry Institute, 11/10/16. Dr. Amanda Drury talks about her definition of Testimony, after delivering a lecture on the importance of Testimony: cultivating community and individual flourishing through telling our stories and listening to the stories of others.

Retrieved from … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDiifT9Gx0k where you can watch more segments from this interview.

PREACHING & Why/How Paul’s Letters Were Performed by a Reader in Public #ScotMcKnight

by: Scot McKnight, 6/11/15.

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 5.37.27 AMIn a previous post I observed that Paul’s letters were not read by individuals but performed by a reader (or lector). The lector didn’t read a letter of Paul cold on the spot but instead would have been given instructions (by Paul and his co-workers). In fact, it would not have been unusual for the lectors to have prepared and performed the letter in advance — or a number of times, perhaps rehearsing the letter’s performance a few times. None of this, of course, is discussed by Paul in his letters but he does mention couriers and reading (e.g., Rom 16; Col 4).

Though this helps explain Lucy Peppiatt’s theory about 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, the post today is about performance in the world of Paul and is based on the excellent sketch of memorized speech-making by William D. Shiell, in a book called Delivering from Memory: The Effect of Performance on the Early Christian Audience (Eugene: Pickwick, 2011). Shiell is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church Tallahassee. His work is rooted in the excellent work on rhetoric by George A. Kennedy.

Some are calling this “performance criticism,” and perhaps America’s best-known expert is David Rhoads. The facts/details about performance are based on ancient rhetorical handbooks. I don’t know anyone who thinks Paul was trained as a rhetor or a lector, but the reality is that most in the Roman and Jewish worlds would have experienced trained rhetors on a common basis — the public square. Thus, those who “read” Paul’s letters aloud would have “performed” them on the basis of experiencing other lectors/rhetors. None of this stretches evidence and is therefore valuable for learning to “hear” Paul’s letters as they were meant to be heard for he wrote them to be read in the congregation’s public gatherings (Col 4:16).

To quote Shiell, “In Hellenistic Jewish and Greco-Roman audiences, the performer and the audience were shaped together by the recitation [or reading], retention, and response to the performance” (7). Furthermore, “Prior to performance, the reader practices, remembers, retains, and paraphrases the reading” (8). [Is it possible that what we now know as text-critical variants began at the original performance?]

Here are some clear texts about public reading of letters: Acts 15:31; 1 Thess 5:27; Col 4:16; Luke 4:17-20; 1 Tim 4:13-16.

On performance, notice these texts: Acts 12:17; 13:16; 19:33; 21:40; 23:1, 6; 24:10; 26:1.

On audiences, here: Acts 2:37; 19:28; 26:24; 2 Tim 3:16…

Read more at … http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2015/06/11/performing-a-pauline-letter/

SPEAKING & How Storytelling Makes Your Speaking Memorable

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “It’ a teaching tool not just reserved for the Son of God 🙂 … because storytelling (i.e. narrative) is key to not only memorable speaking presentations, but bringing about change too (Wishert, 2013). Here are specific steps to attach appropriate stories so that listeners remember a message.”

Read more at … http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/this-presentation-trick-makes-you-sound-brilliant.html

METAPHOR & Once Upon a Podcast: 11 Storytelling Podcasts To Love

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “As you know from my postings, researchers have found that utilizing a story as the central aspect of a sermon or when creating church change will make your endeavors twice as effective (Wilchert, 2012). Knowing this, I often wonder why so many pastors rely mostly on topical sermons when research shows that narrative- and story-based sermons are better remembered and their lessons retained more clearly. Could it be that our seminaries don’t teach and our pastors don’t know how to present a good story? If you’re having trouble making a story come to life, then listen to some of these podcasts with great examples of how to make a story come to life.”

Read more at … http://www.brit.co/storytelling-podcasts/

PREACHING & A Refresher on Storytelling 101

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “I have pointed out that research shows that ‘organizational change’ is twice as likely to occur if you attach a storyline to it. And I have shown out how this is the case in many large church turnarounds. Here is more research that proves you should use the power of stories and narrative to help people visualize change and growth.”

Read more at … http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/a-refresh-on-storytelling-101/

PREACHING & Research Shows How to Give a “Sticky” Story #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Here is the latest research about how to use story and structure for good communication. Lessons include:

1) use a story or metaphor to communicate,

2) use your own experiences,

3) don’t make yourself the hero,

4) highlight a struggle,

5) keep it simple.”

And here is an insightful quote: “In our information-saturated age, business leaders, ‘won’t be heard unless they’re telling stories,’ says Nick Morgan author of Power Cues. ‘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. That means leaders who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others.”

by Carolyn O’Hara, Harvard Business Review

Read more at … http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/07/how-to-tell-a-great-story/

METAPHOR & Telling a Story

Best Advice: Tell Me A Story

by David Edelman, LinkedIn Influencers, February 25, 2014

“Eighteen years ago, as a younger consultant, I took a presence training course with The Actor’s Institute (Now called TAI Resources), run by Allan Schoer and Twyla Thomson. In my first session, Twyla had me sit on the floor, cross-legged, and start telling the other two people in the room a bedtime story that I might share with my kids. Then when she clapped, I was to switch to a business speech.

Her key point was that it is the STORY that matters. People remember stories, not lists. If you want to connect, have influence, be memorable, it takes stories. … Storytelling is one of the most under-rated skills in business. But it is vital getting a point across. It can have data behind it. It can set up a framework for decisions. It can do many of the things that business people think they need to rely on PowerPoint bullet points for. But it does so in a way that makes the implications real and relatable. And that makes you a better, more credible advisor.”

Read more at http://t.co/wezAjxuC3D

A video of Bob Whitesel: PREACHING & The Secret Power of Stories to Change Churches

by Bob Whitesel, professor of Missional Leadership, Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University, 12/6/13, Indianapolis, IN

yhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZrSXKqJsB4outube.com/watch?v=sZrSXK…

CHANGE Myths & a Myth Busting Solution

by Bob Whitesel, July 2005

One of my favorite management magazines, Fast Company, devoted the March 2005 issue to the topic “Change or Die” (Alan Deutschman http://www.fastcompany.com/52717/change-or-die).  It is an important topic for firms to address, as well as for churches (as I hope you have seen from my book “Inside the Organic Church”).  The article “busts some myths” about change.  Here are two and an implication for bringing about change in your leadership collage.

Myth 1:  Crisis is a powerful impetus for change:  Alan Deutschman, senior writer for Fast Company, found that “90 percent of the patients who’ve had coronary bypasses don’t sustain changes in the unhealthy lifestyles that worsen their severe heart disease and greatly threaten their lives” (p. 55).  The article points out that people just give up.  They say “what’s the use?” and prepare to give in.  So the import of this research is that a crisis will not “scare” 90% of a people into change.  And thus, if we as church leaders try to say “you must change or die” the vast majority of our congregations will probably will not heed our warning.  But, there is another myth that can help us deal with this conundrum.

Myth 2:  Change is motivated by fear.  As we saw above, an outgrowth of Myth 1 is that you can scare people into changing.  But as we’ve seen in the medical profession, such scare tactics don’t bring about change (usually only generate aggravation towards the message-bearer, i.e. you 😦  Deutschman points out that people often go into denial when fear becomes too much to bear, stating “when a fact doesn’t fit our conceptual ‘frames’ – the metaphors we use to make sense of the world – we reject it” (p. 55).

Myth-busting Good News:  There is good news!  Medical researchers have found that people are motivated to change by “compelling, positive visions of the future” which “are a much stronger inspiration for change” (p. 55).  That means that optimistic, persuasive, farsightedness that elicits our imagination can help us embrace change.