Friday, January 13, 2017

Why Are Many Churches Failing to Bring in New People?

                      Follow the Yellow Brick Road!

Leaders from around the world tend to ask me a simple question. "How do we motivate the unmotivated to be motivated?" We have an unconventional answer. First, we recognize that everyone is motivated. Unfortunately, they are not motivated to do what we want them to do.

Second, we need to be careful that our attempts to motivate do not backfire and cause people to do the opposite of what we want them to do. For example, some drug prevention programs may actually have the opposite of our desired effect.

It seems that many churches and preachers try to motivate their people and those outside their congregations by fear and condemnation of "SIN". Does that approach really work well to motivate people to change their "bad" or "Wrong" behavior? 

Research strongly questions the efficacy of drug prevention and Teen Suicide Prevention Programs. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported, "There was little evidence that the programs reduced suicides and suicide attempts."

Importantly, the programs reviewed were "intended to raise awareness of teenage suicides by describing the warning signs to young people at risk."

Teenagers participating in the study experienced two main effects: (1) they were less likely to recommend the program to peers; and 

(2) they believed that the programs made kids more likely to kill themselves.

One is left to wonder why programs based on fear and the identification of pathology continue to be used when other, more effective modes of intervention exists--namely skill building approaches. Dr. Scott Miller

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