Michael Hyatt’s excellent blog has a guest post by Mary DeMuth that explores how she discovered her tribe (a la Seth Godin‘s, Tribes). This post got me thinking about the ways we find our tribe. How do we figure out the group where we have the most potential for impact and influence? DeMuth has a few suggestions.
- Ask others, “What is my one thing?” My friend Alex has often said everyone has a “one thing.” This is the theme of your life and ministry – the well you find yourself continually returning to when you feel dry. If someone asked you to communicate one message (verbally or through actions) and one message only, what would that be? DeMuth suggests sending a wide variety of people you know an email asking them to help you define you and your ministry (or calling). I may do this.
- Seek Professional Help. As an author, DeMuth had the ability to consult with a variety of experts to help her whittle down to the core of what she lives to communicate.
- Finally, so some soul-searching. Here, I’ll quote DeMuth in full, “Frederick Buechner says that the place that you ought to serve is “where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” So define that. In your opinion, what is the world’s greatest need? (Everyone’s will be different). What is your greatest joy? How do they intersect in your life right now? How would you like them to? Another exercise: List your three favorite movies. (Don’t think about it; just list them.) Now look over your list. What is the common thread in all three? That common thread is typically your passion colliding with the world’s greatest need.”
I’d take the movie thing with a grain of salt, because I’m not quite sure what gritty westerns (Tombstone, Unforgiven, etc.) and stupid comedies (Talladega Nights, Dumb & Dumber, etc.) have to do with my passion colliding with the world’s greatest need, so take the movie thing with a grain of salt.
However, it could definitely be a good exercise to spend some time thinking about your greatest joy, your understanding of the world’s greatest need, and how you see those intersecting in your life. If you’ve identified your tribe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.