Friday, November 27

Learning by analogy

A few more thoughts from our recent CPM training with E3 Partners...

I asked those on our team what they thought about the MAWL concept (model-assist-watch-leave) for starting churches. Nobody knew what I was talking about. However, when I reminded them of the bicycle illustration Curtis used to illustrate the MAWL steps, they immediately knew what I was talking about, and enthusiastically agreed it was a great methodology for starting churches.

Not once did anyone make reference to any of the statistics, strategic initiatives, graphs, charts, websites, or other step-by-step methods that were shared. However they remembered well what was said about "horses and mules", "rabbit and elephant churches," and "mother ducks with their ducklings." And, of course, what stuck the most in people's hearts were the stories Curtis shared from his own life and ministry.

This reinforces something Seth Godin recently wrote on his blog post Learning by analogy ...

The other day, I was talking to someone about a complex and specialized issue...He [asked], "do you have an example of how this has worked for you?"

Put aside your need for a step-by-step manual and instead realize that analogies are your best friend. By the time there is a case's going to be way too late for you to catch up.
Stories, analogies, illustrations are more powerful in getting our points across than our step-by-step manuals and information-style of sharing.


John Lunt said...

I used to be in toastmasters. Some of the best Public Speakers in the World are now or have been part of this great organization, and one suggestion that several of their World Champion Speakers often make is

Tell a story, make a point. Tell a story, make a point

The audience won't remember statistics or facts.

They will remember stories. So if you tell a great story - they'll get and remember the point.

I'm sure that's why Jesus taught in parables. People are wired for stories.

GuyMuse said...


People will remember stories is a great point. Excellent obvservations. Thanks for sharing. I totally agree.