Mass Customization: Telling Your Story


Stories of changed lives commonly fuel visions that mobilize people to work together for change in the community.

Mass customization is a practice in retail where the manufacturer develops practices to produce mass quantities and the sales efforts are aimed at personalizing the approach to each individual customer. Ever felt personally cared for at Nordstrom or Land’s End? You’ve experienced a portion of the concept of “mass customization”.

Each ministry has a “story” that needs to be “mass customized”. The “mass” part of your story needs to be understood, told, told again, and re-told.  Each ministry has a “creation story” (the dream that brought you into existence, what was the birthing process like, the obstacles you overcame), a “redemption story” (times you failed, ways that you saw God working to redeem what seemed to be hopeless efforts), and a “vision story” (the view you have of the future, how you see God moving you into tomorrow, and what the impact of a fulfilled vision would look like in your community). Effective leaders have compelling stories that can be told over and over again. Stories of changed lives are the fuel of visions that mobilize people to work together for change in a community.

The “customization” part of the work is to insure that each time the stories are told, that there are linkages to individual men and women.  When you tell the story, share the dream, cast the vision you are providing an “on-ramp” for men and women to connect with the dream. See each story as a time where you are participating in a “holy moment," where God can connect the heart of the individual to the dream…then there is the possibility of them becoming part of God’s dream team!  The customizing part of leadership is about sharing and shaping dreams so that people can make their individual story part of THE story of God at work in your community.

Do you know your story? Can you tell it over and over again and continually be energized by it?  Can you tell the story of your God-sized dream so that people can connect their story to God’s story being lived out in you?

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