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Christian Change Makers by Shannon Litton

Christian Leadership Alliance

By Shannon Litton ~

As Christian change makers, you’re all about making and doing – it is in your name, by definition, and in your DNA. You make things happen – a lot of things, all year long. The daily role you play to elevate your mission, reach your goals and gain momentum is all tied back to what you’re actually doing to drive your ministry forward. This “how” is what you live and breathe – you’re proud of it and you want to shout it from the rooftops.

But, don’t.

Of course, the how is an essential part of your ministry. But it is not what inspires you to get up every morning and work as hard as you do. That inspiration is the key to unlocking your true brand story. That inspiration is your why and your why leads people to give, go and act.

The why is powerful in many ways.

First, it is immune to factors outside of your control.

We call this brand security. If you build your ministry and connect your followers to the why, not the how, changes in technology, economy, laws or limitations that impact how you do what you do will not threaten to disconnect those that support your mission.

Have you ever been tied to a certain program, even if it was not optimizing your impact, simply because you didn’t want to lose the donors passionate about it? That is because you connected them to the how. If they were connected to the why, they would have no problem transferring their support to another program that is actually working.

Second, it equips you to break through the clutter.

When you explain your ministry to others and clearly mention why you exist, first and foremost, you are sharing a memorable brand story. Memory recall on a succinct and consistent why has a far greater impact than a long list of programs, events and initiatives that muddle together.

How many times have you walked away from meeting someone at the CLA Outcomes conference, and just minutes later, completely forget what his or her organization is all about? You sat there and had a meaningful conversation, and yet, you simply can’t boil it down. It is very likely, that person talked a lot about the how.

Finally, it empowers others to connect with their heart.

Every ministry has what we call a “double bottom line” – of course you need to have sustainable revenue and other resources, but you also have an impact bottom line. This is what makes you a change maker. Yours could be to further the Kingdom; to better your community; to spread the Gospel; to change the world; to be more like Jesus. Whatever it is for you, it is what truly matters not only just in your heart, but also in the hearts’ of your audience. Use it to connect, differentiate and stand out.

So remember Christian change makers, lead with the why. It is the heartbeat of your ministry and in turn, will be the lasting connection to the hearts of those you reach.


Shannon Litton is president of 5by5, a full-service marketing and digital agency headquartered in Brentwood, TN. 5by5 serves change makers, those who work where life change happens. Their strategic services include communications plans, websites, mobile apps, ad campaigns, and fundraising initiatives, delivering messages with undeniable clarity, reach, and results.

Now is the time to register for The Outcomes Conference: CLA Dallas 2016. Sign up for the Academic Experience and Shannon Litton’s  Intensive Training Institute seminar, Brand Smarter: Do They Really “Get You?”

Christian Leadership AllianceCLA members who enroll four leaders earn a fifth registration – FREE. Don’t delay, reserve your spots today!



What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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