#Echo13 :: Jon Acuff – Building A Tribe

Jon Acuff

Jon Acuff has authored three books, including the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Quitter,which has helped thousands of people bridge the gap between their day job and their dream job. Jon’s wildly popular blog, StuffChristiansLike.net, has more than 4.5 million readers worldwide. Follow Jon on Twitter @jonacuff and online at www.JonAcuff.com.

Building A Tribe

  • I didn’t want to just do 45 minutes of Q&A, so today I’d love to share a couple ideas about the concept of tribes.
  • There are 3 things you need to be a leader
    • Ideas worth sharing.
    • An audience to share it with.
    • The ability to share.
  • There are some people who have 2 of these 3 pieces, and it doesn’t work.
  • So how do we have these 3 things?
  • The defition of creativity is a wild mind, and a disciplined eye.
  • The brain hates new ideas. New ideas are exhausting because the brain has to change to understand that idea.
  • The brain buckets new ideas into buckets that reference back to something else.
  • There’s a part of your brain called brokah. Brokah keeps out new ideas. So we have to surprise brokah.
  • One of the ways I do that is with this idea called ‘booty God booty’.
  • When Jesus talked to the woman at the well did he leave her a secret tract or did he talk to her one-on-one? HA.
  • If I stand before a room full of teenagers and say something that their youth pastor has talked about before, then they’ll bucket it. But if I surprise them, then I can share some deep ideas.
  • Creativity has 3 parts:
    • Imagine – most of us starve our ideas. You have to deliberately feed your ideas? Subscribe to magazines and media.
      • The reason we have great ideas in the shower, is because its the only time you are quiet enough to let ideas in.
    • Capture – most people don’t do a very good job at capturing. We lose alot of ideas because we don’t have a good system to capture them. When you’re in imagine phase, it’s about quantity. When you’re in execute phase, it’s about quality.
    • Execute – When it’s time to execute, that’s all I do. I get offline and I just write. When you’re executing the imagine phase tries to distract you.
      • The goal isn’t for you to get to comfort. The goal is execute from a place where you don’t know what’s going to happen.
  • Be deliberate about what you’re trying to share.
  • When it comes to growing your blog community, go be a part of someone else’s blog community first.
  • To build a community I needed clarity, consistency, and core values.
  • No one has ever said, “When you mocked that other Christian you led me to Christ.”
  • The goal of satire is to cause change.
  • Part of having a tribe is understanding your story.
  • Your brand is how people talk about your story and what you do.
  • There are some topics when it comes to leading a tribe that are too big and should be reserved for a face-to-face conversation.
  • Culturally speaking it’s not hard to be excellent today.
  • Many times it’s only 1 deliberate thing that you can do to go the extra mile.
  • This idea was game changing for me: When you’re in a difficult conversation and ask the question, ‘Why don’t you want to do this?’ But that just forces them to come up with more reasons not to do it. But instead say, “What’s a reason you might want to change this?”
  • There’s a weird shift happening in churches right now. The new guard is stepping into this spot, and the old guard is stepping out. The new generation thinks they don’t need to be led.
  • As Christians we’re just not connected to some of the conversations.
  • Honesty is the most valuable form of currency right now in communication.
  • Maybe the first step for you is just being honest with what you have and what you don’t have.
  • How much time do you spend on thinking time in your church staff?
  • The goal of mockery is to cause a wound, but the goal of satire is to cause change.
  • Question: In our church it seems like there are a couple different tribes under one roof and it’s causing some segregation and dissension. Do you have some suggestions on what we can do?
    • Get to the highest level of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
    • There’s 2 things with every idea:
      • There’ s the island
      • There’s bridge to the island
    • You have to build bridges to that core idea.
    • You can’t lose uniqueness of those audiences.
    • The best ideas leave enough space for the people in your church to write the rest of the story.
    • Our temptation as a church is to fill an idea with as many words as possible.
    • Create a core message, and not eliminating a way for people to identify with it.
  • Part of working creatives in the future is not just one person, but it’s a team of people.
  • One of the bad things that a church does for a creative is that they expect them to work there for 40 years.
  • Creative: What percent of the time does your pastor say, “Just go goof off.”?
  • To get your pastor to give you more time to think is to speak they’re language.
  • How do I connect thinking time to their value system?
  • And ask the right way. And give them grace.
  • There will always be a gap between the creative and a pastor. Just recognize that. It’s our job to put our ideas in their language.
  • The success rate in church is horrible. What you do is hard. You have to be the beginning and the end.
  • God will never be handcuffed by your failures or released by your successes.

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