Confusing the story of the church is something that our adversary strongly desires. We see his efforts in full force within culture all around us. The entertainment world sends our children mixed messages, making it more challenging for us as we parent them through the next phase of their life. Distraction takes any dream or effort, whether attempted by a team or an individual, and pushes them back a few steps.
I believe one of the biggest challenges when Christ followers attempt to live a life in community (small groups, worship or serving others together), the effectiveness of a ministry has to be the focus. Starting first by making sure our hearts and minds are on the same page. Kem did a great job in this chapter of defining how we can overcome things that move us off of the straight path that God has for us. By slowing down and taking some time to ponder before pushing forward too quickly, the story we are telling will most likely sound more clear.
That’s why she suggests that we make it a priority to shorten our story and mission as much as possible. When Kem looks at the church, she desires for its story to be filled with less spin and more framing. For the church’s story to be filled with less selfish manipulation for personal gain (spin) and unselfishly stepping out of the picture to see it as a whole for the benefit of others (framing). If you enjoy photography like I do, that word picture should resonate like crazy!
Here are a few tips that Kem shares, regarding telling one story at a time:
- Shorten your welcome announcements to two items.
- Adjust your website so that it lets the visitor know if it is a fit for them, and if so, what is their next step.
- Communicate what is more important than all of the rest in what you are doing in one sentence.
- It’s hard to recover from a negative impression because, many times, people are gone before you even know you’ve messed up.
Is your story confusing to those that first hear it? Is your objective as a body easily understood?