No, I'm not talking about breaking your $20 bill into fives and ones, but about making change in your ministry setting. In his book Tribes, Seth Godin talks about three ways of making change. At our recent State Sunday School Directors meeting (guys and gals that lead Sunday School and Small Groups in their Baptist state conventions), Daryl Eldridge pointed us to Seth's book and led us through some key points.
First, is the factory-centric model. This model means that we create change by making whatever it is that we produce in a more efficient manner. So ultimately, creating change is being more efficient. So whatever we do requires cheaper labor and faster processes.
Second is the mass-marketing idea. Throw as much stuff at your consumers (churches, pastors, teachers, whoever) and hope that some of it lands in your consumers lap and gets noticed. Have you ever noticed that stack of mail on your desk, or those pesky unwanted emails you receive in your inbox? Yeah, mass marketing. Unfortunately, mass marketing creates lots advertising, but average ideas.
Third, and the thrust of Godin's book, is the concept of "tribes". Tribes connect people with similar needs, wants, and desires and builds a community. Mac users are a tribe. Harley riders are a tribe. Church planters are a tribe. Godin says that to form a tribe, find something that needs changing and create a movement by connecting people who agree.
Tribes lend themselves to movements. Tribes also connect with every individual's need to belong. Tribes have their own handshakes, they contact each other, they share a common passion. They contact other people in their tribe to let them know they miss them. And they are always welcoming others who show even the slightest interest in what they are about.
I'm having a thought here… what if our small groups and Sunday Schools thought like a tribe?