“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Ephesians 4:1 NIV

The Christian life is first about what God has done for us. When we receive His gifts, our lives change. Then our behavior changes. It’s important to get that order correct. We “be”, then we “do.”

Biblically, we are justified, and then we are sanctified. We read about bearing fruit, walking in the Spirit, created for good works, etc. Those happen as our identity is lived out.

There is a lot that could be said about the spiritual aspects of forming godly habits—memorizing Scripture, meditation, the disciplines, putting off the old and putting on the new, setting up accountability, etc., etc.

But even social scientists recognize the value of and effort that goes into behavior change. I was sitting in a session recently where the presenters talked about adding certain skills to what people are already doing.

They referred to B. J. Fogg’s Behavior Model. He is a behavior scientist, who founded the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University, focusing on using technology to change behaviors in positive ways.

Fogg’s model says that for a change in behavior to occur, motivation, ability and a trigger converge at same time. If the desired behavior does not occur, then one of those is missing.

His model looks like this.
Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 9.13.31 PM

The more difficult the ability sought, the higher the motivation necessary. Fogg suggests breaking them down into simple actions. There is a whole lot more to say about this. But you can read more at Fogg’s Behavior Model and the Behavior Grid.

What are some behaviors or activities that you have been trying to foster in your staff or students? I can think of some higher order ministry activities that can take work in developing. Here are a few:

  • launching a new movement,
  • ministering cross culturally,
  • coaching from a distance,
  • building relationships with those who are personally challenging, and
  • preparing students graduating into the marketplace.

I would be interested in how you provide motivation and triggers for action.

Others tips in the “Thinking about a better world” series.


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