I don't know about you but I hate to be pushed. Let me know what is expected and let me know the deadline and I will do my best to meet it ... but pushing just makes me passive aggressive and less likely to joyfully start something I need to accomplish. Pushing is ineffective for a couple of reasons:
1) If the project requires the participants to be pushed it might not be a project that needs doing. The issue here is motivation. If external motivation is required then one should examine the task. Why are people balking? Do they see something that might need to be changed? Every year we pastors have the tasks of doing the Charge Conference Reports which are immediately followed by the year-end reports (actually due in the next two weeks). We report similar information on both reports which has confused and obfuscated many congregations and caused membership records to get out-of-kilter. While it is probably a good idea to keep good records (Sally does an excellent job), I wonder about the value of the reports and the time expended on report preparation. Every year the conference has to "push" pastors to do these reports. Maybe there is a disconnect.
2) The other reason pushing might not be effective is that when someone is pushed into something it causes an internal attitudinal change in the person. They become a subordinate instead of part of a larger team. I know that sometimes pushing is needed, especially in cases where people have no desire to be self-motivated. But when we try to "push" on Spiritual issues, people become disassociated from the real heart of the faith. They begin to act out of duty and not out of love. This created huge issues for Israel and the Jewish faith in Jesus' time as the duty and the law became hard as stone. So did the hearts of the religious leaders. "Follow the rules ... do the law ... and you will be saved." They forgot that the heart of the law was loving God and God's people, and that salvation was from God and by faith ... not works.
I hope I can follow the great leader Jesus in drawing others closer to Him. His methodology was to lead from the front. Hebrews tells us about our great high priest who goes before us in life and even in death, drawing us to Him and showing us the way. May He draw you close today! Randy