Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Genovese Syndrome

Last night at Drink Deep we talked about being a magnetic ministry, helping people stick and wanting new people to be invovled. The big key to this is everyone being involved, it's not one person's job to be friendly, it's everyone's. It's not just one person's job to invite new people, it's everyone's. But the problem is when something is given to everyone to do, it doesn't generally get done. Why? Genovese Syndrome.

Here's where the term comes from. In 1964 a woman named Kitty Genovese came home one night and was attacked by a man with a knife. She screamed and yelled and the neighbors all stuck their heads out the windows and yelled and scared the guy away. At least 38 people. But no one called the police, no one helped Kitty. So she lay there, until the guy came back and attacked here again. Again she screamed, people heard, saw and made noise, and again the guy left. And again, no one did anything. When he came back the third time he killed her.

Why did no one do anything? Because they all thought someone else would do it. The great Chicago fire, people watched for 15 minutes before someone asked, "Has anyone called the fire department?" Everyone thought someone else would do it. When it comes to being welcoming and friendly at church (or wherever you're involved), everyone has a responsibility to do it.

There's two ways to look at something that is everyone's job. Since everyone is doing it, someone will cover it, or, this is my job that everyone needs to be doing. Which one do you go for?

BTW, I see this a lot with evangelism. Jesus asked all Christians to go out and share the gospel, and since there's so many Christians, someone will do it. Or is it my job that everyone else should be doing too? Something to think about.


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