Religious education for beginners should use normal words. Any word that is unusual or stigmatized causes listener to concentrate on words instead of meaning. Think of listeners as timid deer that came out of the woods for the sounds of unusual tune. Every word should strike “Me too, me too“, instead of “Oh, no, not again! I already head that many time before.” The most important is background information to obtain, is what king of doubts and uncertainties brought this new soul to the conversation.
Every sentence should maintain the desired level of romanticism and mystery. Every sentence should create a sense of comfortable hallway, where all interesting things are just around the corner. Soft music and mild smells are very conducive for a good reception. You might not know, what brought all these people here, but you can create an atmosphere that will allow most of them to find, what they were looking for.
BEFORE AND AFTER
It is very important that every person involved felt or visualized a clear “before and after” state. You need to create a safe atmosphere, where all past is falling behind and is getting smaller just as some necessary steps that lead to this one moments. Everyone should clearly see a “line in the sand”, what I thought and how I behaved before, and here are my responses and my attitudes now. Eat only this, in that order, on these days, say these words when in doubt, avoid these toughs and seek your adviser if thoughts persist. Only true followers will experience the magical moments from time to time.
THE MAIN THEME
“Your experience is a unique mysterious path. You just discovered that part of self. Look around! We came from different directions and different walks of life. But we all hold a desire to understand, to explore, to touch the reality. We want to hear the story that brought you here.”
Unity – Us and Them
Never talk about benefits. That is what kills the magic. Instead, talk about the ideals. What links all the people in the group together. People would do things for the group and they would feel great about themselves. The most ecstatic and lasting emotion that person could experience is being a particle of the group.
Never allow conflicts to spill or be resolved outside the group. Either resolve the problems inside immediately, or cut the renegades ruthlessly and permanently.
Each person is extremely busy. You are extremely busy. You only have access to people’s inquisitive nature for a few short seconds. Always less than 60 seconds. You can only make a lasting impression, if you use those short intervals over and over again. You only can make a lasting impression in a group setting with a regular session schedule.
It should be like a reflex. Every time you say something, it has to be interesting, informative, serious and inspiring. All at the same time. Every time. And to do that, do not open your mouse too often.
Power is in unity. A lot of people searching for new meaning when they lost sense of belonging. And this is a perfect opportunity to give them that feeling back. How? By creating rules. You can come here, but to experience true bliss you need to follow these rules to become something more than just body and soul – to become a part of US. Wow! What a powerful concept. Think of the all tricks Government create this sense of belonging with national flag, and Anthem, and glorified history, and holidays and traditions, and switching time back and force. The same, but much more powerful sensation can be created with complicated rules and regulations. More rules – more prestigious is to become a part of these rules.
In any educational and training environment (pets, school children, recruits, team mates) it is very important to place yourself in your follower shoes. They are looking for clear, concise answers that eliminate uncertainty and doubt. Aim to reduce doubt in your followers heads.
New recruits are very vulnerable, least cynical and extremely valuable. A wise one needs to understand, what forces brought pupils to his pulpit. They are here not because of a tradition, or parents, or habits. No. They are here because they are looking for answers.
To be able to receive them, you need to listen to them. You need to learn “their language”. Each and every one of them will be satisfied only if find the answers on their own. Do not dispense the answers like recipes. Create an atmosphere. Follow questions with more questions. Bring old topics back to see the progress.
Separate participants by level of engagement and understanding. Slow and quick, witty and dull – no one benefits from comparison. Individual differences distract from observation and self-study. Comparisons make weak to give up and strong to leave. That is what people are doing all day every day. Eliminate all that as much as possible.
Know your limits. Graduate and avoid those who outgrown you. There is nothing you can do for them. Moreover, they can harm you in the eyes of your other followers.
In one sentence, you are building the road that makes them curious to march. Without you they will remain stationary, or pick some other road to travel. Just for yourself have a answer, why your road is the road.