Attic Memories

It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. Prov 21:9 KJV

I’m nearing the end of a week of traveling that has taken me through 6 airports on 4 airlines in order to: observe and document the weekend worship experiences of one of the pioneer multisite churches in the US; participate in a 3 day conference; launch Auxano’s Vision Room; and take part in a training initiative. The last event ended up in Nashville, where I joined the rest of the Auxano team for a daylong Navigator learning opportunity.

I was able to take advantage of my schedule and spend the night at my mother’s house, working on a few projects around the house before heading back to Charlotte later today.

One of those projects required me to go up into the attic of our house to bring something down. Once I climbed the folding stairs, a rush of memories flooded me. This wasn’t your normal attic – this was my teenage bedroom.

A little more about information is necessary. In the late 60’s, as my older brother was beginning high school and I was beginning to start junior high, my father thought it would be a good idea if my brother and I had separate rooms – we had been sharing a room since I was born. My dad asked if I would work with him and convert our attic into a bedroom for me.

What an adventure! Over the course of several months, we spent time putting in floors and walls, carpet, an air conditioner, and shelving. It worked great! During the remaining years of junior high then into high school I enjoyed using the initial bedroom plus an expansion that more than doubled the size of the original room.

Walking into that space this morning, my eyes fell on this:

It was my dad’s business checkbook, with the last check written to close out the account when he retired in 1994 after 44 years of operating a Gulf gas station.

That visual took me back in an instant to the years I spent in, around, and all over the gas station. Over the next few minutes, as I finished my work in the attic-turned-bedroom-turned into a storage room, I was transported back in time.

I won’t bore you with those stories (at least not now), but my point is this:

Images convey stories that touch the heart

How are you using images in your church?

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Communicate to Influence…

…write to inform.

Communication is about getting others to adopt your point of view, to help them understand why you’re excited (or sad, or optimistic or whatever else you are.) If all you want to do is create a file of facts and figures, then cancel the presentation and send in a report.

– Seth Godin

I’m headed to Atlanta GA today for the 2012 Worship Facilities Expo (WFX). I have been very fortunate and honored to have been a part of every WFX since it began in Nashville TN in 2005. Because WFX held two events in some years, this will be the 10th time I have made a presentation (or two – or three) at the event.

I would like to think I’ve come a long way in my communication style.

When I look back at that first presentation, I cringe. Not because of the topic or content – it was well received. I just remember it being a very dense verbal communication that was all one way – a classic data dump. Coupled with my rapid-fire delivery, (I was born in Nashville TN, but must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle set at 78 rpm. Note – anyone under 30 reading this will have to check Wikipedia for the scoop on that) I’m surprised the audience remained upright.

But they did (I actually have proof – two of the participants that day were on the leadership team at Alliance Bible Fellowship, and we started a conversation that day that eventually led the church to pick me and my company (at the time) for a $5.6 million dollar, multi-phase construction project that is in its third phase at this writing). But I digress.

Our brains have two sides – an emotional right side and a logical left side. When you show up to speak to an audience, you can be sure they are showing up with both sides of their brains ready to be engaged. If you aren’t aware of the way you talk, the way you dress, your body language, and by the way, your content, you may be tuned out by the second slide of your PowerPoint or Keynote or Prezi.

You can wreck a communication process with lousy logic or unsupported facts, but you can’t complete it without emotion. Logic is not enough.

According to Seth Godin, a home run presentation is easy to describe: You put up a slide. It triggers an emotional reaction in the audience. They sit up and want to know what you’re going to say that fits with that image. Then, if you do it right, every time they think of what you said, they’ll see that image (and vice versa).

A presentation isn’t an obligation – it’s a privilege.

If you’re in Atlanta attending WFX, drop in on one of my presentations Wednesday 9/19 at 11 AM (The Servant Blueprint) in A313 or 3 PM (Selling Change) in A314.

As Andy Stanly says, I’d love the chance to challenge your mind in order to change your life.