What Would You Do to Reach Yourself?

Excerpted with the permission of the author from Chapter Five of A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger

As a pastor of a bible church in a drug-riddled Philadelphia neighborhood known as the Badlands, Joel Van Dyke was determined to reach the youth of that community— but for years had no luck figuring out how to do so.

Then, after stumbling upon:

Always the beautiful answer
Who asks a more beautiful question.
E.E. Cummings

Van Dyke decided to use questioning as an outreach tool. Instead of trying to tell local youths that he knew what they needed, “I decided to ask, ‘What would you do to reach yourself?’”

Van Dyke’s willingness to immerse himself in the community and ask that question led to a surprising conversation. Community youths (including gang leaders) told him they very much wanted a place to play handball, but had been locked out of the local facilities. “Throw a big handball tournament,” they told Van Dyke, “and we’ll bring all our friends.”

Van Dyke’s church went on to sponsor four tournaments a year, which also provided a venue to share the ministry’s message.

Note from Bob:  Don’t you often wish that the obvious question was just a bit more obvious?  Have you ever asked your target audience “What would you do to reach yourself?  If “Yes” will you please share your experience with all of us?  If “No” when do you plan to ask? And will you please share your experience with all of us when you do?

Note from Bob:  I highly recommend Warren’s book is A More Beautiful Question 

 

 

Warren Berger

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Warren Berger has studied hundreds of the world’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to learn how they ask questions, generate original ideas, and solve problems.  His writing and research on questioning and innovation have appeared in Fast Company, Harvard Business Review and Wired.   His website is AMoreBeautifulQuestion.com

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