More on How and Why.

Why we like how and not why?

We ask “How” because it puts pressure on someone else to answer the questions we are asking. For instance asking “How do you guys check your kids in” gives you information about how someone does something and requires very little action on your part. “Why” is much more difficult because it puts the pressure on us. When you see someone doing something you think is working we want to ask how do they do that. What we should be asking is “Why this would or would not work in our kids ministry.”

I am not saying by any means that you should be a lone wolf and try to do ministry by yourself. That never learning from other is the only way to be original.  Nothing could be further from the truth. I have a close group of fellow kids pastors and the regularly challenge me about “Why” I do the things I do.

I have had a few people ask for practical suggestions as to what asking “why” looks like. One of the best examples in my mind is a post Kendra Fleming did about “Why” they don’t use an electronic check-in system? It was brilliant because Kendra and her team did not ask How can we get an electronic checkin system that everyone else is getting. They asked why would we want one.

Asking why doesn’t mean you reinvent the wheel it just means you put the right sized wheels on your car. I live in upstate New York. I have visited many different churches in the “Bible Belt” and if I was to ask how and do what works down south it would never work for me in New York. Asking why they do what they do is entirely different. Asking Why helps you to contextulize the processes and ideas you get from others.

This is why I feel there is a lack of innovation in children’s ministry. We are asking the wrong questions and implementing the wrong answers. How is easy. Why is much more difficult question to ask because it requires much more of us, but in the end you will have a much more health culture that is more suited to reach the people God has called you to reach.

6 thoughts on “More on How and Why.”

  1. Great thoughts on these posts! I always love it when people ask what I'm using to doing or how I'm doing something. I've conditioned myself to automatically respond, "Let me ask you a question. What are YOU wanting to do?" It is so much easier to simply copy what someone else is doing. Unfortunately, that hardly ever works.

  2. Great thoughts. It's so much easier to implement something someone else is doing, but it makes it so much harder to be effective. If you ask the right question from the beginning, the hard work comes on the front end and the effectiveness comes on the back end.
    Thanks, Sam!

  3. Or a variation of the Why is to ask what led them to their decision or setup… Get to the motivations that other have, and those are where I find the greatest takeaways.

  4. Such a great way of thinking. Thanks for challenging us and reminding us. My kids always warn their friends that I ask too many questions. I love to discover "why" — and the best way to do that is to ask questions and then be quiet and listen!

  5. long time i didn’t check on your blogs, and now the baby is borned cogaradulntion! I love the picture the mother and the baby . it was so nice!!! The picture seems like full of the love of the mother!

  6. Pingback: The Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol (March 2010) | Dad in the Middle

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