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UNLEASHING POTENTIAL IN STORYCENTRIC COMMUNITIES

Leading with Story

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 5)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 5)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Then we looked at how Jesus used rich imagery. Next we discussed the way Jesus asked good questions. Last week we looked specifically at the Sermon on the Mount and the way Jesus related truth to real life. Here’s the fifth one. 5. Jesus spoke the “people’s language.” Think about the

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 4)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 4)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Then we looked at howJesus used rich imagery. Last week we discussed the way Jesus asked good questions. Let’s explore the fourth communication style today. 4. Jesus related truth to real life. As we are interacting with the way Jesus communicated as a model to us all, one question comes to

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 3)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 3)

The past few weeks we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over these six weeks we are highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. The first week we talked about how Jesus used good stories. Last week we talked about Jesus using rich imagery. Today we will look at the third communication style.   3. Jesus asked good questions Not only did Jesus tell good stories and use images, but he also asked good questions. By asking questions he was involving the audience and

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Jesus the Master Communicator (part 2)

Jesus the Master Communicator (part 2)

Last week we began talking about Jesus, the Master Communicator. When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? In light of this, what are some ways we can adopt this communication style in our own communication of the gospel in formal and non-formal ways? Over six weeks we will be highlighting some of the communication styles of Jesus. Last week we talked about the first one: Jesus used good stories. Today we will look at the second one. 2.  Jesus used everyday objects and verbal imagery If you give someone a mental picture, he will take it home and it will be in his heart for a long time. Jesus knew that and often used everyday images and objects or

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Jesus, the Master Communicator (part 1)

Jesus, the Master Communicator (part 1)

When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord, the long awaited Promised One. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator? This was the challenge that one of our Indian leaders made this week among a group of twenty-five ministry colleagues from India and Nepal gathered to plan for the first-ever Orality Institute of Leadership. These men and women will serve as certified facilitators in the Institutes’ regional hubs across this region. Students that attend this Institute will receive training and mentoring in character formation, biblical literacy, and ministry skills. They will learn how to lead people effectively with Jesus as their ultimate model. And the entire curriculum will be oral-based rather than literacy-based.This is an historic initiative, the first of its kind. So, let’s go back to

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Using Story to Set Leaders Free – Video

Using Story to Set Leaders Free – Video

This video provides a snapshot of how Freedom to Lead takes stories, images, and music to deliver time-honoring leadership principles. We have witnessed that when oral-based leaders experience the leadership principles of Jesus through stories, images, and music, their hearts are changed. As a result, communities are impacted.

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Marketing With Story

Marketing With Story

Marketing specialists tend to confuse me. Their discipline is often made to seem impossibly complex. Is there a simpler way to promote our brand? One branding expert says “Yes!” He believes our most powerful marketing tool is our own story. So we’ve given it a try. In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller provides the basic building blocks of a good marketing story.1 He wrote, “Here is nearly every story you see or hear in a nutshell: a CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN and calls them to ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.” This kind of story helps our customers not to burn too many calories in an effort to understand our product.   So here is one non-marketer’s effort to tell our

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Marketing Made Simple

Marketing Made Simple

Marketing is not my expertise. Every day solicitors come knocking via my inbox with the marketing “offer you just can’t refuse.” While I don’t know much about their complex discipline, I do know our small organization does not have money to waste. I get heartburn when other leaders spend precious dollars on marketing efforts only to get little or no results. And when they do receive the final reports, they wonder what went wrong, or worse, whether their product is really any good at all. But what if the problem isn’t the product? What if the problem is the way we talk about the product? Can we make marketing simpler? Building a Story Brand In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller states that organizations typically cause their customers to burn too many calories in an effort to understand their product. When having to process too much information, people begin to ignore

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Leading With Story: a Book Review by Evangelical Missions Quarterly

Leading With Story: a Book Review by Evangelical Missions Quarterly

Originally Posted in October 2017 by Evangelical Missions Quarterly (EMQ) —Reviewed by Benjamin Espinoza, PhD student, Michigan State University.   Story has become a topic of interest for many scholars, pastors, and missionaries. As Christians, we are called to be participants in the greatest story of all time, the gospel. Rick Sessoms estimates that eighty percent of the world’s people are “story-centric learners,” meaning they learn through storytelling (drama, art, music, etc.). This provides a unique opportunity for us to ponder how we can take the gospel to the ends of the earth using story-based methods and leadership approaches. Sessoms has written an insightful volume on story-centric, Christ-centered leadership which will equip a new generation of Christian leaders to share the greatest story of all time. In Part 1, Sessoms explores the prominence of storycentric learning in today’s society. Story possesses the power to change the minds and hearts of people

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What Happens after Giving Tuesday?

What Happens after Giving Tuesday?

This week in America our families and friends will gather for a day of Thanksgiving. Since my heart surgery in September I have not eaten much sugar, gluten, or dairy, but for this special occasion I am looking forward to the carrot cake that will be made from my mother and grandmother’s recipe. While I watch the parade on television with my three grandchildren, I will also be thinking of our brothers and sisters in far off places. In America we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. The day following is Black Friday where people stand in long lines to get the best shopping deals of the year. Small Business Saturday follows and then of course there’s Cyber Monday, which is when online vendors like Amazon.com explode with all the good things. And several years ago someone birthed a movement called “Giving Tuesday”, which is a day to give back. After giving thanks and then emptying our wallets

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Leaders Who Seek Peace

Leaders Who Seek Peace

Freedom to Lead (FTL) recently traveled to work with a group of second generation leaders that are being developed in Adjumani, Uganda through The Garden Project. These Christian leaders are primarily refugees that have fled from Sudan. In light of their war-torn lives, the Sudanese brothers and sisters found FTL’s module on Peacemaking to be especially relevant. When I returned home, I was reminded that we also need leaders who seek peace. Is All Conflict Sin? One of the themes we kept revisiting during our time together was the discussion about whether all conflict is related to sin. To many of us conflict seems always sinful. However, after examining stories and interacting with the early church experiences, we can see that sometimes conflict is simply the result of not having enough resources to go around. For example, conflict may happen if two people want the only seat left on a

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Asking the Right Questions

Asking the Right Questions

Storytelling Questions The Story of Rev. Gupta Rev. Gupta was a well-loved pastor in his rural community for many years. He brought together his friends Raju and Geeta to help build the church and these people became life long friends. The community was being reached with the gospel, people were being baptized every week, and the church was growing. Rev. Gupta was able to get further study in a neighboring city. As the church started to expand and new ministries were being added, several things began to happen. Raju and Geeta were concerned by the changes they were seeing in Rev. Gupta (or, rather, as he now wanted to be referred to as Dr. Gupta). As the ministry grew under Dr. Gupta’s leadership, he was invited to travel and teach and, in the process, became a sought-after conference speaker. It wasn’t long, however, before the early signs of “big boss sickness” began

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