Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Sizzle (05/02/13)
TITLE: Spicing Up
By Edmond Ng
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- My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NIV)
That is the kind of remark I would wish never to hear from my boss, but I get that a lot as a copywriter and content manager. Writing persuasive copies is what is expected of my job and unless I bring in the numbers and visitors to the websites I manage, I am at risk of losing my livelihood. This is how the commercial world works when it comes to measuring performance and the success of an online marketing campaign in getting across the message to its audience. It is all about spicing up the heat using persuasive words accompanied by outstanding design to catch attention, create interest, and stir up desire that leads to action.
Unlike the way the commercial world works, getting across the gospel message to the yet unsaved is not about using wise and persuasive words, but by the guidance of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:4-5). There is no need for us to spice up the gospel message to create the sizzle or desire. Our focus should be to accurately handle the word of truth; for while we may plant the seed or water it, it is God who causes the growth (2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Corinthians 3:6).
Nevertheless, there are a few things we can do to help the yet unsaved better understand our intent in sharing the gospel. Like the way the secular world uses the AIDA approach to create Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, there are also many approaches we can use to share the gospel. One of them which I have found particularly useful is summarized in a word, BRIDGE. ‘B’ is to be genuine, ‘R’ is to reach across our prejudices, ‘I’ is to invest time, ‘D’ is to dialogue relevantly, ‘G’ is to go beyond the surface, and ‘E’ is to expect to be surprised by God.
Are we spending too much time trying to create the sizzle to get people to come to our church or to a gospel event? Is the numbers a concern to us in gaging how well we perform as a church or in bringing people to our Lord? Are we spicing up too much heat to draw the crowd that we become careless in handling the word of truth? Jesus in the Gospel said there is much rejoicing in heaven even over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:7, 10).
When sharing the gospel, therefore, be prepared to expect the unexpected when the Holy Spirit leads. Rather than use wise or persuasive words to create the sizzle to bring in the numbers, let us be genuine in presenting the full gospel in truth. Take time to share without prejudices and do not talk without relevance. Go the extra mile whenever needed beyond just touching the surface that those who hear the good news may through us experience God’s love and receive His salvation.
Dear Lord, thank You for loving us so much. Our hearts yearn O Lord to share Your good news and to reach out to the yet unsaved in bringing them into Your kingdom. Help us Lord not to be too caught up in our enthusiasm to create unnecessary sizzle to increase the numbers, but to genuinely go beyond the surface to express our love while sharing the gospel. Keep us in tune with You at all times Lord that when Your Spirit leads, we may be ready to expect the unexpected for Your word of truth to get across more effectively.
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