Q Place founder encourages believers to ask more questions.
A few years ago I found some relevant wisdom on evangelism and spiritual transformation in an unlikely place: Forbes Magazine. The article was entitled “The 3 Most Powerful Ways to Change People Who Don’t Want to Change,” by therapist and life coach Kathy Caprino.
Over the years, she has studied the root causes of behavioral roadblocks and why people have such a hard time changing, even if it is likely to improve the quality of their life. Whether trying to lose 20 pounds, successfully quit smoking, or even just flossing each day, most people fail to reach their goals.
In fact, dieters in the U.S. spend $40 billion a year to lose weight, but 19 out of 20 (95%) lose nothing but their money.
To show that there are ways to help people successfully make changes, Caprino cited an experiment documented in a YouTube video done a few years ago by behavioral scientists David Maxfield and Joe Grenney.
In it, two 12-year-old boys tried to persuade smokers they encountered on the street to stop smoking. Their first approach was to hand out tracts on the dangers of smoking to every person with a cigarette in their hand and try to explain to them why they should quit smoking. The researchers followed up behind the boys, and found that 90% of the recipients had responded negatively and resentfully. They called this the “lecture approach.”
Then, the two boys were sent out again with what they called the “influential question” approach. The boys had cigarettes in their own hand and asked anyone they saw smoking if they would give them a light. Almost every time, the smokers declined to give them a light and told the boys why they shouldn’t smoke.
The boys would follow up with another question: “If …