Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Power of Suggestion

I'm a sucker for the kiosks by the check-out stands at the grocery store. I will have crossed off every item on my carefully prepared list, but suddenly, I just have to have that lint roller. Or that chapstick. Or that flavor of gum sure looks good... My husband says that those stands were designed just for me. Store clerks see me coming and stock up with plenty of not-quite-worthless items that I surely cannot live without. And don't get me started on what a food commercial can do for me. I will have just finished eating a very filling dinner, turn on the TV and suddenly I have an intense craving for Dairy Queen Blizzards, or french fries, or Starbursts, or _____ (you fill in the blank). Oddly enough, this sea-food hater found herself craving fish 'n chips after a Long John Silvers commercial. And don't get me started on the mere mention of cookies.

But despite how dissatisfied it makes me, I love the power of suggestion. Thoughts that might not originally occur to me become real. Foods that I may have forgotten my enjoyment of are savored once more. Or, that cat-fur covered sweater may finally have the chance to look new/clean again. But what if we turned this masterful marketing tool around and used it for good in Children's Ministries (or the church at large for that matter)? What if rather than blatantly telling people of our need for volunteers, we suggested it instead? What if there were subtle reminders throughout the building? What if people attended a service and left with the quiet thought of, "I should really start serving,"? It would just be gentle reminders that their experience that Saturday or Sunday wasn't complete. I have a feeling it would work on someone like me.

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