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Why People Don’t Do What They Are Supposed to Do

Why People Don’t Do What They Are Supposed to Do
A training manager constantly hears “We need training on X because people are not doing X”. It’s a natural supposition that if people are not doing X, it is because they don’t know how.
Robert Mager, in his book Analyzing Performance Problems —You Really Oughta Wanna, has spent years advising leaders how to get people to do X. He identified five (5) reasons why someone may not be doing what you, as their leader/pastor, believe they should be doing. What follows is a very brief summary of the five reasons and the solution to each of them.
  • They may not know they are supposed to be doing X. Solution: instruct them on what and why they should be doing X.
  • There are obstacles in the organization or system that keeps them from doing X. Solution: identify and remove the obstacles.
  • The consequences for not doing X are zero or there are positive consequences for not doing X. Solution: change the reward/consequences to encourage doing X.
  • They don’t know how. Solution: Provide the knowledge, skills, and tools needed
  • They choose not to. Solution: You may have to accept “No” for now until you find out what will motivate them to do X (or increase their “oughta wanna”).
Let’s apply this to the world of missions. So, how long has it been since your church sent someone from your congregation to the mission field? Maybe a decade or two? Maybe never? If it has been “never” or a “long time,” it will be for one of the five reasons above. Perhaps you have never thought of that as a major goal for your church. Maybe the church is busy doing other things? Perhaps the price-tag is too high to lose your best people or support them financially. Another reason might be that you don’t know how to produce missionaries out of your church. Or could it be that you simply decided not to do it? Please note that only one of the reasons why someone is not doing X can be solved by training. The other four factors are can be more difficult to analyze and develop a solution and must be addressed before any training is provided.
Only you can determine which reason has stood in your way. You can solve four of those reasons yourself. If you don’t know “how”, then BMW can help you solve that dilemma.
Clark Macaulay, Biblical Ministries Worldwide
Paul Seger, Biblical Ministries Worldwide