Pastor Appreciation Month is almost over. Mercifully. Is this really how we describe a once in a lifetime opportunity to love on people who devote their lives to loving on people? Who named it? Ace Hardware?

No other format can touch such a deep place in the heart as ours, and yet we often sound like an IRS manual as we convey data, data, data, about this and that.

I recently heard two consecutive features on one station begin with the giving of the date, “Today is October 26, 2014.” Well, thank you very much. That will be very helpful to me if my desk calendar catches on fire.

There is no promotion so brilliant that it can’t be made utterly ineffective through the presentation of data.

This isn’t just about an esoteric interpretation of messaging. This is about what is effective.

Here’s the deal.

“Research shows when people think analytically they are less likely to think emotionally. The mere act of calculation reduces people’s charity. Once we put on our analytical hats, we react to emotional appeals differently. We hinder our ability to feel.”

In “Made to Stick” Chip and Dan Heath share that the goal of the message is to make people care.

“Feelings inspire people to act. For people to take action, they have to care. To make people care about ideas we get them to take off their Analytical Hats.”

That means we have to move beyond Pastor Appreciation Month and into something that stirs the heart.


Here’s an idea! Let’s turn our current analytical checklist of who, what, where, and why into the beginning of an emotional connection.

‘Who’ becomes “who would enjoy this, too?”

‘What’ becomes “what can I do to help?”

‘Where’ becomes “where else would I rather be?”

And ‘why’ becomes the all important “Why do I care?”

Don’t tell me today’s date and give me more data. Paint me a picture of why I should care.