I read a great book call “Switch, How to Change Things When Change is Hard” by Chip and Dan Heath. The authors use an illustration of a rider, an elephant, and a path. The rider represents the intellect. He’s the little guy riding on the neck of the elephant with a stick. The elephant represents the emotions. This huge animal will obey the little man with the stick most of the time under normal circumstances. And the path represents the direction the rider wants to go. But what happens when a tiger jumps in the middle of the path? I’m sorry, no matter how much the little guy pokes that elephant with that stick, that terrified pachyderm is going where ever he wants! So good luck with that. The same goes for emotions. If emotions are significantly aroused, it will be heart over the head every time. Many times disciple-makers are aiming at the head, the intellect. That’s good. Disciples need knowledge. But if you go after both the heart (emotions) and the head, you’ll see greater commitment. Jesus went after the head and the heart. He demonstrates this in many ways. “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks…Unless you hate your mother and father…Unless you forgive from the heart…”, etc…. Even the crucifixion speaks more to the heart than to the head. Jesus died for me! More head or heart? Heart hands down! This is why when I’m leading biblical discussions I use the Head, Heart, and Hands format. I am amazed at how often disciples (and I) get significant motivation and application when we ask the question; “How does this make you feel?” I rarely find a 4th Soil person who isn’t significantly invested emotionally and as they are intellectual. 4th Soil has their head and their heart is in the game as well.
Are you aiming for the heart, the emotions? How are you hitting the heart of the people you are discipling?