30 January 2020

What’s the most effective advertisement you’ve ever seen? Perhaps it was the first sighting of a Coca Cola bottle with your first name on the label. Or maybe it was a Flight Centre advertisement on Facebook with ridiculous holiday packages (ironically targeting the exact destination you’d already been Googling! How did they know?!). Or perhaps more simply, it was a close friend or colleague recommending a recent purchase from firsthand experience.

Whatever the case, we should never underestimate the power of effective and well-targeted advertising. However, undoubtedly the most trusted form of advertising is word-of-mouth or peer recommendations. According to a recent report, 92% of people trust recommendations from peers over all other types of advertising.

To apply this perspective in a ministry context, personal evangelism, or taking opportunities to share Jesus with our non-believing peers is the most effective kind of ‘advertisement’ for the gospel. In addition, using questions in advertising, such as requiring someone to answer the question, “Jesus Is _____.’ How would you fill in the blank?” has a much more engaging and persuasive effect than simply telling someone what they should do or think.

In line with the Great Commission in Matthew 28, Christians have an important role in making Jesus’ name known among the nations! With the regional ‘Jesus Is _____.’ month of mission just around the corner (officially starting 15 March 2020!), there are many ways we can ‘advertise’ Jesus, from wearing a ‘Jesus Is _____.’ T-shirt, to putting a bumper sticker on our car or engaging in personal conversations.

For example, why not buy an exercise singlet ($12) and wear it every week at Parkrun, or for walks along the Blue Mile pathway? Wearing ‘Jesus Is _____.’ merchandise is a great first step to leverage conversations about Jesus (while also increasing exposure and spreading Jesus’ name far and wide across the region).

In addition, word of mouth advertising has a snowball effect. Just think of the grassroots #emptyesky Bushfire Recovery campaign on social media. Can you imagine what the impact would be if every church member in our regional mission area (Macarthur, Shoalhaven, Southern Highlands, Sutherland, and the Illawarra) took one step further for Jesus during the month of mission?

So, what can you do to prepare for the ‘Jesus Is _____.’ mission?

  1. Pray broadly and specifically by name (for people you’d love to introduce to Jesus)
  2. Attend a local ‘Jesus Is _____.’ training day (tomorrow Monday 3 February at Shellharbour Civic Centre, 7-9pm) or Figtree (Saturday 8 February at Figtree Anglican Church, 10am-12pm; or come early and add prayer from 9am)
  3. Buy ‘Jesus Is _____.’ merchandise to leverage conversations; clothing orders close 12 Feb: http://bit.ly/JesusIsMerch

What kind of advertising works best on you? How can you apply this logic to personal evangelism and take one step further for Jesus?

Lauren Russell
St Michael’s Communications Director & 9:30am member