The TED conference has collected fascinating people from around the world to share ideas, collaborate, and inspire. Narrowing the field of these excellent films is tough, but here are five TED Talks from the past few years we've selected as standouts for ministry leaders.
Take some time to sip some coffee, sit back with a notepad, and enjoy!
Topic: Personality / Team Building
"In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated."
Takeaways: While our society rewards extroversion, introverts bring essential qualities to teams and communities. Pastors will find relevant points here on team building, vision casting, and relating across personality types. Ready to go deeper? Read "The Introverted Leader."
"People aren't just cooking anymore—they're cooking, texting, talking on the phone, watching YouTube and uploading photos of the awesome meal they just made. Designer Paolo Cardini questions the efficiency of our multitasking world and makes the case for—gasp—'monotasking.'"
Takeaways: Doing more at a time doesn't mean doing better. Cardini posits that multitasking dilutes our attention, energy, and productivity, and shares his creative response to the problem. Ministry leaders will be inspired to craft their own creative response to the problem of multitasking. Also read "Time for Things that Matter" and "Pastor with ADD."
Topic: Relational Dynamics / Vulnerability / Personal Growth
"Brené Brown studies human connection—our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share."
Takeaways: Shame and self doubt are universal human experiences. Vulnerability is the key to true relational openness. Pastors will find a lot here to chew on, and be reminded of the power—and difficulty—of being truly vulnerable. More relevant reads? Try "The Transparent Pastor" and "Skimming" for ways that these principles relate to ministry leaders.
Topic: Caring "For the least" / Community Action / Creativity
"At Camp Diva, Angela Patton works to help girls and fathers stay connected and in each others' lives. But what about girls whose fathers can't be there—because they're in jail? Patton tells the story of a very special father-daughter dance. (Filmed at TEDxWomen)"
Takeaway: This is a moving story of working with prisoners and their families. Ministry to the disenfranchised often requires extra creativity and a sense of optimism. Sympathetic, loving ministry can change the course of a life. Read "Making Ministers of Inmates."
Topic: Efficiency / Design / Humor
"Why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them."
Takeaway: Godin hits a productivity nerve in this hilarious talk. Leaders are prompted to think about the "brokenness" of their own systems or patterns. Next steps? Look carefully at your routine to "redeem the time." Also, don't miss "Know Thy Time"
Copyright © 2013 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
Click here for reprint information on Leadership Journal.