Seek to Inspire rather than inform
By Jim LaDoux
Many churches and non-profit organizations spend most of their time and resources on providing information to their congregation. From email newsletters and social media posts to church announcements and preaching, the emphasis is on informing people about events, programs, and causes. While this is important, it may not always be the best approach when it comes to inspiring transformative change. Instead, the focus should be on inspiring people to action by communicating the why and how, not just the what.
The Problem with Information-Heavy Communication
When we rely on information-heavy communication, we risk putting people to sleep. This is because information can be dry and uninspiring. It doesn't always connect with people on an emotional or personal level. Furthermore, information can be overwhelming, especially in today's age of information overload. People need to be motivated to engage with information and make it relevant to their lives.
The Power of Inspiration
Inspiration, on the other hand, has the power to engage people on a personal level. It can motivate them to take action and transform their lives. Inspiration resonates with people's values and desires, and it connects with them emotionally. When we inspire people, we create a sense of community and shared purpose. Inspiration encourages people to see the world in new ways and to find new meaning in their lives.
How to Inspire
The first step to inspiring people is to focus on the why and how, not just the what. This means communicating the purpose behind events, programs, and causes, as well as the practical steps people can take to get involved. When people understand the why and how, they are more likely to engage and take action. Inspiration is also about telling stories that bring ideas to life. Stories can connect with people's emotions and help them relate to an issue on a personal level.
Specific Calls to Action
To inspire people, we need to give them specific calls to action. This could be encouraging them to attend an event, volunteer for a program, donate to a cause, or take a personal action that aligns with their values. Calls to action should be clear, actionable, and easy to follow. They should also convey a sense of urgency and importance.
The Importance of Transformation
At its core, inspiration is about helping people transform their lives. This means giving them the tools, resources, and support they need to make meaningful change. When we inspire people, we create a sense of community and shared purpose, and we empower them to make a difference in the world.
Information is important, but it's not always enough when it comes to inspiring transformative change. Churches and non-profit organizations should focus on inspiring people, not just informing them. This means communicating the why and how, using stories to bring ideas to life, and giving specific calls to action that help people move toward transformation. Through inspiration, we can create a sense of community and shared purpose, and empower people to make a difference in the world.
QUESTIONS | APPLICATIONS
- Do you share how lives will be transformed as a result of people's involvement?
- Do you connect your messages to your church's mission, vision, and values?
- Do you provide more than one way to learn, serve, or celebrate to increase people's engagement?
- How will you change your personal communications to inspire more people more often?
Posted in Communicate Well
Michelle Townsend de Lopez - August 30th, 2023 at 12:52pm
Do you share how lives will be transformed as a result of people's involvement?
Yes, I tell the story and try to use my cell phone to capture those moments as well now, as often I had people say, " Wow, I would love to see that." I finally realize that you can't talk enough about things that change people's live in very tangible ways that are always about winning the lottery, but the little things that feel like folks have hit the jackpot. It seems when I am able to share those kinds of things in many different ways which is also the key, then people almost crave information from you. It's like you become the Hope dealer as we all see and hear far more negative and life draining stuff.
Do you connect your messages to your church's mission, vision, and values?
Yes, constantly in sermons, bible studies and even in the fun acitivities outside of church. I remind them this is fellowshipping too. This is building community in tangible and faithful ways that may be out of the norm from yesteryear, but works for or digital/social lives. We also have our visioning statement on our letterhead, mission statement on bulletins, DEI statement posted in the sanctuary and all 3 incorporated into our constitution and bylaws. We take pieces of them out to frame meetings, powerpoints, etc. Keeping it alive & 3D at a minimum has people stating what wasn't so obvious before.
Do you provide more than one way to learn, serve, or celebrate to increase people's engagement? Yes, at we hve a diverse congregation with many community activities and a free clinic that brings in all sorts of people, so we have had to learn how to do that more effectively out of necessity due to space issues and not enough capital to expand yet. It was NOT always this way, but we have become more intentional about keeping these things at the forefront and work across more fluidly like the space that we share. Yes, it is the congregation's building, but we all share the space to do important kindom building work in many areas, so we struggle, celebrate and keep learning together which is resulting in better access and deliverables for the wider community.
How will you change your personal communications to inspire more people more often? Learn to speak more slowly and not walk so fast, as usual this is happening on the move. I also have learned to follow up more with written correspondence via text, social media memes/pics and email. I also have gotten good at being more brief which is appreciated and easier for me. If they want/need more they will ask. Still learning and making mistakes, but staying in it just the same.
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