The following is an excerpt from The Art of Marketing Jesus by Robert Wachter. It’s a featured Speakeasy selection, and there are still limited review copies available for qualified reviewers.
Jesus is the most attractive person in human history. Professional fishermen dropped everything to follow Him. Social outcasts were transformed into outspoken ambassadors; sinners, repulsed by other religious leaders, were drawn to Jesus by the scores; and two thousand years later, even in our modern culture, Jesus is still attracting people in numbers that can’t be counted. Only now, because Jesus is no longer here in the flesh, the process of attracting people happens largely through the lives of everyday believers.
However, attracting others to Jesus may not seem like a viable option for some people. I spent many years battling fractures in my soul that prevented me from experiencing spiritual freedom. I was either dealing with serious mental health issues, fighting my way through addictive bondages, or buried underneath destructive feelings of condemnation. I had a personal relationship with Jesus and desperately wanted my light to shine, but spiritual victory often seemed elusive. It was only through the process of renewing my mind to the unadulterated gospel of grace that brought true spiritual victory in my life.
Although I was caught in the subtle influences of religion that resulted in feelings of rejection from God, others have come to the faulty conclusion that their performance is keeping them in right standing with God. This produces the unintended consequences of self-righteousness and judgmental attitudes that render the believer ineffective at reflecting the heart of God. The fastest way to turn people away from wanting to know more about Jesus is through an attitude that looks down on others. Therefore, we must understand why this happens and free ourselves from the Achilles heel that distracts people from seeing the true Jesus through our lives.
After reading the gospel accounts, Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most well-known practicing Hindus in recent history, wanted to learn more about Jesus. One Sunday morning, Gandhi visited a Christian church located in Calcutta, India. Unfortunately, however, like many people who are curious about Jesus today, he did not have the best experience dealing with Christians. Gandhi was stopped at the sanctuary doors and told the church was only for high-caste Indians and white people. Understandably, the experience left a bad taste in Gandhi’s mouth. “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
We may push people away in other ways today, but the impact is the same. We are often quick to attack people on social media for their behaviors or political beliefs, not realizing that we are pushing them further away from Jesus. We often pretend that we don’t have any problems in our lives, only to make the Christian faith seem entirely unrelatable to hurting people. We may even proclaim our love for the world but refuse to pursue relationships with people who don’t share our faith. The Art of Marketing Jesus recognizes that we must tackle these problems head on to revitalize the connection between humanity and the authentic and captivating person of Jesus.
I first started thinking about how to help believers attract more people to Jesus during the planning stages of launching Imagine Church. As a marketing executive for many years prior to entering full-time ministry, I thought about how some of the methodologies used to clarify the value of name brands in the business world could be used to deliver people from religious and spiritual bondages. Therefore, I immediately went to work creating a powerful and easy-to-understand spiritual growth process that has helped many believers internalize the life-giving promises of the new covenant and produce an abundance of love, joy, and peace in their lives—which is precisely the attitudes and characteristics required to attract people to Jesus.
I’ve divided this book into three categories. The first part focuses on how God intends to use everyday believers to attract people to Jesus. We are all broken people who need the power of God to transform our lives. The good news is that God specializes in doing extraordinary things through the lives of ordinary people. It doesn’t matter how unqualified you may feel today, God will use every difficult experience and broken piece in your life to attract people to Himself. It’s often those who come from the most challenging circumstances who have the most impact on others. However, when it comes to the art of marketing Jesus, we must be willing to tell the real story about what God has done in our lives, which means exposing our frailties and failures.
The second part of the book uses intriguing marketing concepts to clarify and articulate the simple message of the gospel. The only way to reflect the true heart of God is to first untangle ourselves from the subtle but deadly influences of religious thinking. The gospel is not based on the conventional wisdom of the world. Instead, it was given to the first-century apostles through divine revelation from the Holy Spirit. We must look at why rule-based living does not work on this side of the cross and challenge old thoughts that do not align with the new covenant. This is the only way to free ourselves from the shackles of religion.
The third part of the book introduces a highly effective grace-based spiritual growth process rooted firmly in the promises of the new covenant. We often get stuck in the performance trap because we put works before the power of grace. This always leads to spiritual frustration and burnout because we are operating on human strength. The spiritual growth process will give you the tools to remain filled with all the fullness of God, integrate your life with other life-giving believers, and teach you how to live victoriously on this side of the cross.
Join me as we begin the journey to freedom from a performance-based religion and start living the abundant life that can only be found in Jesus.
Praise for The Art of Marketing Jesus
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened The Art of Marketing Jesus. Would it be for church leaders to know how to fill their pews, or a modern approach on the Gospel? The Art of Marketing Jesus shows us that, through relationship and authenticity, we can pull others closer to Jesus. A line that’s stuck with me is that ‘We must not hide in a corner and pretend like we were never healed from a variety of past conditions or act like we have it all together. People need to hear our stories and receive encouragement that God can work in their lives too.’ So often the phrase, ‘Fake it til you make it’ is kicked around in Christian circles. This shows us how much more our authentic relationship with Christ will pull people to Him.”
“From the very beginning, this book sucks you in as the author shares his wisdom in a practical, yet stimulating way. The more I read, the greater sense of freedom I felt. It’s God’s grace so eloquently communicated. I’m left feeling encouraged and empowered to live my life joyfully and passionately in the fullness of my God-given potential!”
“The crux of this book is not about making Jesus look better using some slick campaign or the right words, it’s truly about how our lives as believers—our normal, everyday lives—can change the environment wherever we go. The author acknowledges his own growth process through life experiences, and how those things can actually make our stories more compelling—not because we are superhuman, but because we can allow God to use those painful pieces of our own lives to grow and to reach others.”
“Do you want to reach the world for Jesus in a highly impactful way? If so, don’t pretend to be the perfect Christian. Instead, be more authentic about the challenges you are facing in life – be kinder to those who are struggling with sin – and be more loving to those whose religious beliefs differ from yours. That’s the challenge that the author puts before us in this unique book on personal evangelism and spiritual growth!”
About the Author
Robert Wachter is a speaker, performance coach, and founder and lead pastor for Imagine Church, Washington State. As the former chief marketing officer for a real estate company that saw six billion dollars in annual sales during his tenure, Robert uses his experience across several dimensions to help others reach their full potential and make Jesus irresistible to people everywhere. Robert has been featured by radio and news outlets regarding his evangelistic approach to ministry.
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