Quick: which of these animals is more likely to kill you?
A SHARK A DEER
Answer: The deer is more likely to kill you. Actually, it’s 300 times more likely to kill you via a collision with your car than a shark is through, uh, consumption in the ocean.
That’s a true statistic from the Florida Museum of Natural History as found in Made To Stick, the masterful communication book by Chip and Dan Heath. The Heaths call that kind of communication credible, meaning that it has the kind of unexpected truth about it that once you give it some thought you say, “of course.“
Credibility goes beyond hard numbers and into the realm of lived experience: “see for yourself if this is true or not.”
It’s why I can’t preach on tithing if I’m not tithing myself. It’s why the staff can’t teach on serving if it is not serving itself. It’s why the church can’t talk about compassion without being compassionate itself.
I guess it’s why we’re having so much fun hosting our twelve new friends from the Salvation Army this week. I pray it makes all the talk here credible.