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Are you asking the right questions?

I started a new book this morning, of the self-help genre. If you know me personally, this will not surprise you in the least.

The introduction of the book was written by Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce.

He attributes much of his personal and professional success to five questions he asks himself whenever he is faced with a decision to act or not.

- What do I really want? (Vision.)

- What is important about it? (Values.)

- How will I get it? (Methods.)

- What is preventing me from having it? (Obstacles.)

- How will I know I am successful? (Measurements.)

These questions struck me as remarkably similar to the ones I will teach to those participating in the "Storytelling Masterclass" series that launches next week.

I teach similar questions to churches as the starting point for developing all good and effective communication—especially to visitors and newcomers.

But there is one major difference between what I teach and what Marc suggests in his introduction.

Marc reflects on his own answers to these questions.

I ask churches to reflect on what answers their defined audience might have to these questions instead.

If a church answers these questions for itself, it becomes a narrative about the church. What we must learn to do instead is help others answer these questions for themselves. We must help them identify the narrative of their own story...and the role the church plays in it. Make sense? Sort of?

Here's a bit of homework. Pull up your website and take a look at the language across its pages. Does it answer these questions for and about the church? Or does it help those who encounter the church there answer these questions for themselves?

And which approach is more indicative of ministry?

If this is intriguing to you or you've already had an aha! moment and want to pursue it further, these are the types of conversations we will have as part of the Storytelling Masterclass series. It is designed to encourage you to think differently about how you communicate, to use the structure of storytelling to communicate more effectively, and to utilize even the most seemingly insignificant communications as an opportunity for ministry.

The series is applicable to faith communities and faith leaders of all kinds—not just churches. But from my past experience in teaching this course, it does take a decent amount of courage.

Are you up for it?

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