Thursday, July 14, 2005

Selling dreams

Christians are called to evangelize the lost-- that is, to present the Gospel to unbelievers in a way that is honest, loving, and compelling. Is there a methodology for the presentation of ideas in evangelism that we're missing if we apply it only to the Gospel? Said another way, what if a candidate approached the placement process as the evangelization of himself as a cause, not unlike he might present the Gospel?

I recently re-read a great book, Selling the Dream by Guy Kawasaki. Kawasaki presents evangelism in exactly this way. He suggests that the best marketing of ideas, whether it be for products or causes, is done through evangelism. This is because anyone can advertise an idea, but no one evangelizes something they don't truly believe in. Thus, Guy defines evangelism as it applies to “marketing” (to use the term in its broadest sense) as “selling the dream”-- thus, the title of his book.

Now if you think that Kawasaki is equating products or business ideas with the Gospel, you've misunderstood. Guy, a Christian who is a member of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in California, uses the idea of evangelism very loosely compared with its biblical sense. But I think he is onto something about marketing and persuasion that is very applicable to placement.

If you're with me on the importance of a candidate's sense of calling, you'll follow me on evangelism as well. Do you believe you are called to ministry? Is it a part of your identity-- even similar to your calling as a Christian? Then you should feel compelled to convince others of this calling to ministry, as well. And convincing them out of your own genuine belief, rather than out of a sense of obligation (as advertising might be understood), is all that is meant by evangelism.

Put another way, when you dream of what God will have you doing, what does that look like? Now what if you could do exactly that if you could only sell others on the same dream? See the connection? Selling the dream is exactly what we do when we candidate well. It isn't false advertising or misrepresentation; it is putting ourselves forth as everything we believe ourselves to be. That's good candidacy.

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