By Mark A. Taylor
Here’s another reason the North American Christian Convention is such a productive gathering. At the NACC we do a lot of walking!
And, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University, that’s good!
A summary from Stanford News puts it this way: “Creative thinking improves while a person is walking and shortly thereafter.” That means we can generate a MOUNTAIN of creativity at the NACC.
Granted, the Cincinnati convention center and downtown are more compact than what we’ve found in some cities. But even at its best, the convention requires blocks of walking between hotels and convention center and restaurants, and many minutes of walking between workshop rooms and banquet sites and exhibit hall and worship auditorium—all within the convention center itself.
By the time this week is over (the convention starts today at noon and runs through noon on Friday), most of us there will have logged miles of walking. We can expect a lot of fresh thinking as a result.
So I’m going to try to do more than check my watch or greet old friends while I’m hiking from one event to the next at the convention this week. In downtown Cincinnati, and afterwards when I get home, I’ll “hit the sidewalk” to help me ponder the possibilities in all the new ideas the convention will offer this week.
And there’s a takeaway for every church and every leader, long after the NACC is over. We may do our best deciding anytime by taking a walk instead of huddling in a conference room. The Stanford report clarifies that this phenomenon applies to creative thinking, not focused thinking. So, for example, walk when you’re brainstorming possibilities for the future, not to analyze vendor estimates or compare qualities among prospective new hires.
Everyone knows walking is better for long-term health than sitting in a chair all day. So, right now, I’m recommitting to getting up from my desk and taking a stroll when I’m trying to make a creative decision.
If you’re driving in for just a day of the convention (and if you’re not, why not plan now to do so?), don’t worry about parking too close to the convention center. The walk back to your car might be the perfect place for you to talk about what you’ve just heard with those attending the convention with you.
By the way, before you go home, be sure and walk over to see us at the Standard Publishing booth. We think those will be good steps to help your ministry move forward!