Times They Are a’ Changing

Yes, they are changing indeed. In 1964, Bob Dylan put the mood of the nation to song and released “The Times They Are a’Changing.” Now, here we are almost 50 years later having experienced a full generational pendulum swing and find ourselves right back in a period of extreme cultural, social and political change. People in the streets rebelling against the corporate establishment. A president under-fire for continuing to wage an unpopular war. A cultural movement "back to nature;" putting a greater value on "local" and "green" than on less expensive or mass produced. Sound familiar?

So in this time, this age, what should your message (for ministry or for business) be?

You actually need one message but stated differently depending on who you're talking to. I think you need one message when speaking internally to your tribe (or employees or members) and another when speaking externally to your customers and clients or potential customer and clients.

Internally: Now, like never before you need to know who you are and why you exist. And you need to be able to communicate that internally so your employees or your closest tribe knows who you are and why you exist. What is your mission? What is your vision for the future? What are your core values? Each of these documents will help you define for your tribe who you are and the role in culture that you will play.

Externally: But to your customers, both current and potential, you need a different perspective. You'll need to define who you aren't. In the current cultural climate it's far more important for you to differenciate yourself by who you aren't or what you don't do or don't include than who you are and what you do. We are in a time of high polarization; a culture of "us verses them." Your message of what you leave out is going to be more relevant and "sticky" to your potential customers than what you include. (thanks to Roy Williams and Pendulum) 

The bottom line here is to be proactive and take the lead in defining who you are (and aren't) both internally and externally. If you don't, culture and the competition will define you and you may not like their conclusions. 

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