Ever been mummified with duct tape in reverse? It’s one of those goofy, endearing youth group games that makes you laugh just thinking about it. A poor, mostly unwilling student magnanimously volunteers (primarily for everyone else’s viewing pleasure) to be wrapped with duck tape–sticky side out–for his/her team to then throw paper and/or socks (not rocks?) across the room at them to see how many items get stuck. The stickiest person’s team wins.
After months of trying to check it out at the library–I finally got a copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point on CD and have been listening to it over the last couple of weeks. It’s fascinating to think about social epidemics: when one idea, with the right people involved at the right time–can explode and infect massive numbers of people in a breathtakingly short amount of time.
In the book, Gladwell repeatedly talks about “stickiness”–that “x” factor in certain people that makes their behaviors and ideas especially contagious. It’s such a compelling idea– that since Gladwell wrote about it over ten years ago, dozens of books have been written about it or used the idea as a reference. It’s even become a means to determine the effectiveness of marketing and websites (called the “stickiness factor”– the likelihood that someone will return to a website)–the stickier, the better.
We’ve been working hard at Blanchard over the last several years to make our vision–and most importantly, our behavior as devoted followers of Jesus more sticky–more compelling, more easily reproduced, more corporately owned and lived out in our neighborhoods by our regular attenders.
In some ways, I might have already offended a ton of you reading this post–because, ultimately, we believe the work and the power of the Holy Spirit within believers to be the greatest stickiness factor of all.
It’s God’s work to grow the Church–so why even worry about the “stickiness” factor? Well, for me, it’s one thing to believe these things about God in our heads, it’s completely another to live expectantly with God–believing in faith that God, by his life-infusing power, make us incredibly “sticky”–call it the scent of Christ, or the magnanimity of Christ’s love for the world glomming on to people all around us by our sticky words and actions.
But, unfortunately, the anectodal evidence clearly suggests the Church in the North America is profoundly unsticky. Lukewarm Christianity, sin, judgment and hateful behavior kick up enough dust to make our stickiness factor culturally insignificant. There’s no greater tragedy for the sticky Gospel of Christ than that.
So, whether you attend Blanchard Alliance Church or not, how would you gauge your own stickiness today? What choices do you regularly make, with God’s power, to keep yourself “sticky”?