Today I have been pondering the loss of the pure evangelist in our culture. The One that is so enthralled by a product or service that they just can’t help but tell people about it motivated by nothing more than sharing the good thing they have encountered. Instead we live in a “like & like back” culture where most praise for a product is motivated by some reciprocal benefit. Scratch my marketing back and I will scratch yours. This is not in and of itself awful, but the loss of the pure evangelist leaves us always questioning motive and asking “what do you get out of it.” We don’t trust people anymore and are more inclined to follow their recommendations just because they are famous (at least to us) not because we trust their taste.
This is not only a cultural issue but something that Christians have been embracing and excitedly participating in. Give me a book and I will write about on my blog (I do this for the record, because I choose the books to get and it saves me $10); retweet me and I will give you ten followers; make mention of me and I will mention you in an upcoming post; come to church and we will give you this shiny new mug… it goes on and on. We are quick to say that Jesus doesn’t need new marketing but we sure need some for ourselves. We have to work the spark to a flame by any means necessary.
Sure, we want the thought leaders of our subculture to give us input on what to consume but are there any pure evangelists for quality material left or must we follow the money machines commands to obey and buy products? After all, they do talk about Jesus…
I wonder how else this is impacting our lives. Now that we have trouble discerning genuine endorsement and trusting the motivations of people how can we be trusted with the message of the gospel? The benefit is certainly for those that hear, but will they hear if they feel like we a hawking a product like we would the latest CD or multi-level marketing scheme.
I don’t know the answer here, but am just contemplating how we can reclaim genuine evangelism, for people, products and most importantly, Jesus.