I just finished this way cool book by Andy Andrews called “The Noticer Returns.” Since I don’t write book reviews here any more please feel free to follow this link over to Amazon.com where you can read my review and those by many other people who also love this book. I was pretty stoked when I started reading “The Noticer Returns” and realized that we’ve been thinking in parallel, surely moved by the Holy Spirit in some very similar ways recently. All this year I’ve been thinking more and more about having influence beyond what we typically consider traditional boundaries. From everyday heroes to participating in a Disciple Group that is the truest slice of community that I’ve ever seen in a church, I am inspired to say that for the sake of unity and furthering God’s kingdom, change is taking place in our community. Those that matter are making a difference. Andy’s book left me with the usual warm and fuzzy feeling, and it tied up some loose ends for me, providing wisdom and understanding.
Developing a better understanding of culture was one outcome of reading this title for me. Andy’s character Jones states, “If you are ever going to change a culture, you have to understand how it was created in the first place.” He shows us how it all starts with our thinking…
- Thinking determines choices.
- Choices create actions.
- Actions yield resultsâ€”good or bad.
- Results determine reputationâ€”collectively resulting in a culture.
So it really does all go back to how we’re thinking. If we are focused on our entitlements or enforcing our values on other people, we’re not thinking clearly and in a way that will create cultural change. The how of thinking is the thought process of creating change through influence. It starts at home or in a small circle of close friends, and radiates out from there. Sounds pretty simple, right? It gets messy when we don’t all agree on every issue. It’s sort of like a dysfunctional family, or even within a congregation at a church. I’m not even referring to the variety we see when we visit a different church, or when we look up a different denomination or religion on Google to see what they’re all about. Goodness, to think even further, what about different political affiliations or even the variety of opinions we see across the globe on cultural issues. And so we do tend to congregate, or circle up the wagons in groups of people who are similar to us. Do you know the most segregated day of the week? For most people, it’s Sunday, of course, the day when we spend the most time with our family, at our church and in our close circles (key word here being most).
My current epiphany transgressed to my daughter Rachael. Last week she completed her program at UF Health Jacksonville. She worked hard and earned it, juggling a growing family that includes two little boys that I love and adore. Two of her classmates spoke at her graduation ceremony, and they both shined a light on Rachael’s personality and demeanor, saying what a joy it was to work with her and how bubbly she is even in the midst of stressful days. I told her that was a HUGE compliment to her as both of these traits will take her very far in life. Plus, it’s infectious, creating an atmosphere around her that transforms other people and their lives. Pretty sweet. And therein lies the how of changing…
- culture in our tribe…
- culture in our city…
- culture in our country.
I truly believe the next 2 decades will possibly see more cultural changes, especially in America, than we have experienced in any other time in our history. I expect this will be very unsettling to people my age and those over 35 now as their influence is eroded as a byproduct of this process of cultural change. Things that our generation thought mattered will not mean all that much to a growing population that will become our new leaders.Think of this in terms of what is transpiring in our cultural acceptance of gay rights. The idea spreads from there. Our greatest opportunity is helping to transform the “how of thinking,” and it centers on the love of Jesus.
“Rapid change sweeps aside the status quo and those that defend it (the stuck former geniuses and the stuck bureaucrats). It replaces them with those willing to leap.” Seth Godin
Our thought process and the how of thinking determines our culture. Thank you Andy Andrews.
So how do we influence thinking, as in how to think?
– We have to keep it extremely focused, simple and forward thinking.
– We have to define our core values that matter, and the process.
– We have to work from the inside out.
– We have to emulate the love of Jesus.
That one word brings it all back together. Love.
To be continued…
How would you go about encouraging someone on how instead of what to think?
I think we can do that by asking them questions. Ask why, how, what type of questions that make them think more deeply. We allow others to come up with their own answers, it teaches them HOW to think.
You got it Joe! So glad you stopped by for this one given your involvement with youth ministry! God Bless 🙂
Just curious. Why don’t you do book reviews on your blog any longer?
(On another note, I’m reading The Noticer Returns right now.)
Just trying some different things Jon, and the book reviews were one of the time-consuming posts that I’ve decided to let go for now. I do write reviews of some of the books I read on Amazon and Goodreads but they’re much briefer than what I would put together as a blog post. I’m looking at my blog more and more as just one facet of my online platform. I still write every day but mostly for my book content, while I’m generally only posting once a week here.
I think living by example – and showcasing what you’re really like through all seasons of life can demonstrate how YOU think. You can share your life experiences and describe what you saw, what you experienced, and how it impacted you.
That’s an excellent point David, thank you so much for sharing!