The Stickiness Factor

It seems like every summer there is a pop song that is extra “poppy.”  Not a necessarily good song, mind you, but “poppier” than the rest.  And it’s so “poppy” that it gets stuck in your head and won’t go away no matter how many times you listen to Journey on repeat.  This summer it’s “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jespen.  This, um, “song” is not going to win Jespen any songwriter of the year award, yet it sticks.  It’s probably a stretch to even call the song “music,” yet it has nearly 150 million views on YouTube.  So my question is this: What makes things sticky?

As I mentioned in this post, LeBron James has inspired me to read more this summer.  And also inspired by LeBron, I am currently reading Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell.  In a chapter on “Stickiness,” Gladwell says about Sesame Street, “They discovered…how to make what they had to say memorable.  Sesame Street succeeded because it learned how to make television sticky.”

So, obviously, some things stick with us more than others.  Even bad songs and children’s television shows.  And as a communicator, I am tremendously interested in knowing what aspects of sermons are “sticky.”  So I need your help.  Think about the best sermons you have ever heard, and tell me what you remember about them.  Was it a personal story?  A bad joke?  A powerful testimony?  Please share in the comments, and um, here’s my number, call me maybe?

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About Parson Carson

I am a husband, father, United Methodist pastor, Wolfpack fan, and outdoor enthusiast who loves meeting new people and hearing their stories... All while trying my best to love God and love others!
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5 Responses to The Stickiness Factor

  1. Nancy Carson says:

    No question about it….your sermon on “I raise mine Ebenezer”! The sermon was outside under a big tent. You suggested the illuminated cross in front of Guilford College United Methodist Church become an Ebenezer. For the closing hymn the band played the following song;
    “Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood”. —Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing! A hymn I was familiar with but after your sermon….it was stuck in my head! I will never here this song again without thinking about your sermon and the illuminated cross!

  2. Nancy Carson says:

    OOPS! Make that hear in my last sentence!

  3. Great stuff.

    What makes Gladwell’s stuff so memorable? His ability to weave a fully connected story from seemingly mundane and unrelated portions of life. I like looking at verses through lenses that most people havent looked through.

    Having one point is great.

    Authenticity is the biggest thing. I dont care abt your stories if you exxaggerate or are lying to me.

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