By Todd Adkins
What ministry is most essential to your church right now and how do you carry it out?
My favorite explanation of these approaches comes from John Kotter and Dan Cohen in The Heart of Change. They summarize the rational approach as analyzing-thinking-changing as one methodology. And the emotional approach as a seeing-feeling-changing methodology. They propose that changing the behavior of a person or group is less about giving them a rational analysis that will influence their thoughts, but rather by helping them see a new reality that will influence their feelings.
Now, while both thinking and feeling are actually essential to the change process, the true heart of change rests in your emotions. You might expect that we as church leaders are more tapped in to the empathy that is needed for this approach, the see-feeel-change methodology, than business leaders. And business leaders may focus more in a corporate setting on the more logical approach, which is analyze-think-change. But often, we fall into that same trap. So, let’s compare these two approaches side-by-side and look at them in a church context.
In analyze-think-change, you provide people with the information. You give them the data and the analysis. And this information will lead to influence their thinking. This information helps them move forward in their behavior, at least that’s what we think because, ultimately, this new thinking probably won’t lead to a changed behavior. In order to do that, we need to look at the other approach.
In the see-feel-change model, you help people see the problem or issues for what they are in a new light and in alignment with your vision. Doing so impacts their emotions, which helps them move forward and actually leads to change in their behavior.
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