Guy Kawasaki, a former evangelist for Apple computers, talks about the art of evangelism. In a nutshell, what used to be a religious term has been borrowed by business.
In a quirky step farther, let’s take evangelism back to the church and reapply Kawasaki’s art of evangelism on churches. Obviously we’re a couple steps removed from the original concept of evangelism so not everything fits, but it’s an interesting exercise.
- Create a cause. Thankfully for the church, we already have a cause. No need to sweat this one.
- Love the cause. Kawasaki says ‘evangelist’ isn’t a job title, it’s a way of life. Sound familiar? He also says, “No matter how great the person, if he doesn’t love the cause, he cannot be a good evangelist for it,” which might be a useful point in the debate over Christian/non-Christian marketers.
- Look for agnostics, ignore atheists. Basically it’s more productive to go for those who are more likely to buy in. That makes sense for business, and is a worthy reminder for the church, but we’re also called to go after those least likely to buy in, whether it’s productive or not.
- Localize the pain. Christianese and revolutionary language aren’t helpful–how is faith practical? Our faith may also be revolutionary, but that may not be the best way in.
- Let people test drive the cause. It’s hard to imagine test-driving a faith and in some ways it’s very contrary to the way Christians think, but letting someone tag along and “try out” church without making a commitment can be huge. Does your church leave room for people to test drive Christianity.
- Learn to give a demo. This is one where many Christians, myself included, flounder. Can I explain my faith in a way that makes people excited? Can my church explain it in a way that gets people interested?
- Provide a safe first step. Goes back to the idea of a demo. Is the “safe” first step an alter call in front of a thousand people? Are there too many expectations on a new Christian?
- Ignore pedigrees. The church so easily panders to those with power. But Jesus wanted the masses.
- Never tell a lie. This should be a no-brainer for the church, but sadly many of us are hypocrites, and that never helps the cause.
- Remember your friends. New convert begats new convert. That’s how the church started.