Inspired by a vision

First published 9th May 2016

I recently came across this short TED talk by Simon Sinek entitled  How great leaders inspire action.

In the video Simon unpacks why certain companies, are so successful, whilst others only ever achieve the level of being good. He cites the example of Apple. They command a huge, almost cult like following with people willing to queue for hours to get their hands on the next produce being launched. This despite the reality, that on paper, they are just another computer company. Why is that?

Simon explains that every business has a What (the product), a How messgae (how that product is delivered and how it will affect your life) and Why (why is that company in business, what are its values, what is its vision for the future).

Most companies begin with the What. They tell us what they have to offer us, what the product is, they then explain how we can get it, how it will help us, and finally they might mention why it is that theyve created it, why they are in business and what their values are.

Apple reverses this process, they communicate their values, they inspire us with a vision, a lifestyle opportunity, they then explain how this vision is achievable, how it will transform our lives, then finally they invite you to opt into this vision, this transofrmation, by purchasing this product.

People will join a movement, people will invest in a cause and people are inspired by a vision. People do not have the same response to a product.

Martin Luther King delivered a famous speech I have a dream and people rallied behind that vision to enact fundamental transformational change. Would the same outcome have been achieved if Kings speech had been I have a plan?

When I begin to unpack this in relation to our churches I wonder to what extent we communicate the Why over the What. I am sure if I read your church notice sheet I will likely read all about the activities and the programme of groups run by the church, but will I get a clear understanding of your values, your vision, your why?

Perhaps we need to be more concerned with communicating and inviting people into our why than we are about managing, building and maintaining our programme of what. Our why is the Kingdom of God, God's big idea, the vision of a Kingdom where lives and communities are transformed.

How clear is the why in your church? Is your vision printed and unpacked in the notice sheet, are your values written on the walls, is your why, your understanding of the Kingdom of God as promoted and advertised as our programme of what?

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