PODCAST: The Textbook on Persuasion, Part 3 (Strategic Christian Leadership #57 with Daniel Whyte III)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, and this is the “Strategic Christian Leadership” Podcast, Episode 57. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help Christian leaders understand how planning and strategizing is important to carrying out the Great Commission.

Our Bible verse for this episode is Deuteronomy 1:15 which says, “So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine books: “Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders” by Aubrey Malphurs, “Deliberate Simplicity: How the Church Does More by Doing Less” by Dave Browning, and “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase a copy of these books from our website podcastpulpit.com.

Our topic today is part 3 of “The Textbook on Persuasion” from “Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership” by John Dickson. He continues as follows:

There is a place for an entire book on the relevance of Aristotle’s theory of rhetoric. For now I simply want to underline a dimension of persuasion that is obvious once you hear it but too often overlooked by leaders seeking to influence those in their care: The perceived character of the persuader is central to his powers of persuasion. This is ethos in Aristotle’s system. As the quotation above highlights, we tend to accept arguments made by those we personally trust, the “good-hearted”. A half-plausible argument will sound implausible from someone we don’t like or respect, and yet the same argument will seem fully plausible from someone we deeply respect. Taking a shot at the frivolous rhetoricians of his day who thought persuasion was all about style and panache (pathos), Aristotle went so far as to declare that the character of a speaker is the defining feature of persuasion:

It is not the case, as some of the technical writers propose in their treatment of the art [of persuasion], that good-heartedness on the part of the speaker makes no contribution to persuasiveness; rather, character [ethos] is almost, so to speak, the controlling factor in persuasion.

Interestingly, Aristotle makes a distinction in his treatment of ethos between the speaker’s real character and his mere reputation or authority. One could be an ancient Greek senator or a modern business guru and it would not count nearly as much to an audience or corporation as the perceived integrity and authenticity of that leader. Mere reputation cannot match true character.



If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.