Do ever wish you could have a do-over? Man, I really feel like I missed a moment at Awaken yesterday.
I had a chance to speak on day one and will post this talk next week sometime (along with a few thoughts I forgot to mention), and then yesterday I was able to be on a panel with some really top notch writers, thinkers, and communicators who tend to write alot about evangelism. I really have liked getting to know these guys. Some I met for the first time whereas others I have known for awhile. They all seem to have a genuine passion for loving others and helping others do the same.
Erwin’s first question for us was: “You have all written books about evangelism, why should we buy your book?” In the two minutes we each had to share I mentioned that Peppermint-Filled Pinatas is about embracing the people Christians “love to hate.” I also mentioned that it has sold several million fewer than the books by Lee Strobel, Mark Mittelberg, Dan Kimball, and Rick McKinley combined. I was trying to be succinct, funny, and honestly I was a bit uncomfortable when asked to promote my book. You don’t want to sound arrogant or like the speaker who quotes himself constantly.
As the conversation continued on our panel, Mark brought up that it takes 85 people at a church to reach one person. Erwin pointed out that this is misleading since really 84 people didn’t do anything while 1 person truly served, loved, and reached another person. Mark then mentioned his desire to train the other 84. I felt that training wasn’t going to help because many of these people aren’t reaching anyone because they aren’t caring about anyone.
After the panel was over, I had a thought I wish I had shared, but the moment had passed.
The books these guys have written on apologetics are helpful and needed, but I realized the uniqueness of my book in that moment.
I wrote my book attempting to help people who follow God actually love those who do not.
I do go into sharing how to serve, love, and even reach people from different ethnic backgrounds, from different religious perspectives, from different socio-economic places, from different political persuasions, and even from different lifestyles, but the heart of the book is moving people to care about those around them.
Now, I haven’t read any of the recent books these guys have written, so theirs could include this as well. Even still, I wish I would have conveyed that. Not just to get more people to buy the book and in turn help more people reach out to their neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family, but to better articulate what I was actually trying to do!
I also forgot to mention my book is about creating a diverse community and shares alot about what I have learned at Mosaic about loving, serving, and reaching others.
Oh well, there is always my blog to set the record straight! 🙂
Check out others blogging about Awaken: Darren, Jumaine, DJ, Renee, Mike, and Scott at the Awaken blog.
at AWAKEN day 1…
Here in Pasadena, at Awaken conference.. Looks to be 500+ in audience- maybe 70/30 mix of younger/older.. Loud opening style, lots of rhythm and loud dBs, not the passion-style sing-alongs.. Lots of energy! They got wifi setup, tho’ bandwidth may…
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I was at the moment, and I could almost feel the tension between the apologetics guys and the others. I thought Erwin’s comment was right on. You cant teach people that don’t care. It is all about loving others, so they will love others. We actually talked about this at dinner last night. Having the church to love the community as much as Jesus does is the mission. I believe when that happens the rest falls into place. Great job by Mosaic this week, its been awesome.
Thanks for sharing Eric.
There are a lot of different ways you can share/love/talk someone into the faith but when it comes down to it, you can’t argue them into the faith but love them into the faith. Now whether that love includes words or not looks differently for each person.
Wish I could have been there for Day II and III.
When’s Awaken 2009? 🙂
If anyone hasn’t read Eric’s book yet you should! He posted a section of “The Art of Woo” on my blog (www.reneejohnson.net), so come check it out and pick yourself up a copy!!!
We’re so glad you wrote your book, Eric. It’s needed and timely. Thank you.