Inciting incident (aka ‘defining moment’)

By Dave Henning / October 2, 2016

“Inciting incident . . . a turning point, tipping point, a point of no return.”- Mark Batterson

In Chapter 3 (“The Ripple Effect”) of Chase the Lion, Pastor Mark Batterson observes that, when it comes to movies, we accept the fact there’s no story without a conflict.  However, Mark ads, this premise also rings true in great lives.  Hence, “great conflict cultivates great character.”

The world of plot structure refers to this as an “inciting incident.”  Furthermore, these incidents come in two basic varieties:

  • things that happen to you that you cannot control
  • things you make happen that you can control

However, though you might not be responsible, Pastor Batterson stresses that you are response-able.  Also, your ability to choose your response factors heavily in determining your destiny.

Another key point involves our perception of inciting incidents.  Mark cautions that such moments first viewed as positive sometimes turn out to have negative consequences- and vice versa.  Therefore, the author offers to comparisons of success and failure:

  1. The leading cause of failure = mismanaged success
  2. The leading cause of success = well-managed failure

In conclusion, Mark presents some thoughts on what you need to do to make your dream happen:

“Maybe it’s taking the first step of faith and burning some bridges behind you.  After all, you can’t steal second base if you keep your foot on first.  Maybe it’s taking response-ability for something that’s handicapped you for far too long.  The one thing I’m certain of . . . it’ll take some two-o’clock-in-the-morning courage.”

Today’s question: Do you perceive your ministry downsizing or vocation loss as an inciting incident in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The law of sowing and reaping”

About the author

Dave Henning

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