A little known story: When I was writing Selling the Dream—How to Promote Your Product, Company, or Idea—and Make a Difference Using Everyday Evangelism, I attended the Billy Graham School of Evangelism to learn from the best. It was a very interesting experience. Some of the finest speakers that I’ve seen (and tried to copy) were on a pulpit—not an operating system or music-player pulpit—but a church pulpit.
Fast forward a few years: I am on the board of directors of a para-church organization called Hawaiian Islands Ministries. Its mantra (if I can help it, no organization that I’m affiliated with has a mission statement) is to “train the trainers”— that is, pastors, ministers, deacons, elders, etc. Twice a year it runs a conference featuring some of the best Christian speakers. If you like to watch and hear the sessions from this Fall’s conference, click here. For example, streaming video is available of these sessions:
Bill Hybels: “Give God Glory in Our Leadership.”
Founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek, Bill is well known for his relevant and insightful Bible-based teaching. He is the author of seventeen books, including Rediscovering Church and Fit to Be Tied (co-authored with his wife Lynne), Too Busy Not to Pray, Becoming a Contagious Christian (with Mark Mittelberg), and The God You’re Looking For. He is chairman of the Willow Creek Association’s board of directors. Bill holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College.
Juan Carlos Ortiz: “Supernatural Experiences Are For Today.” Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juan Carlos was ordained in the Christian Assemblies of Argentina and is presently a minister in the Reformed Church in America. His vast experience in discipleship and small groups has taken him to conventions, congresses, universities, seminaries and churches on five continents. He has founded six churches, was professor at Instituto Biblico Rio de la Plata in Argentina, and at present is professor at the Robert Schuller School of Preaching in Los Angeles, CA. Pastor Emeritus of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, Juan Carlos’s world renown books include Discipleship, Call to Discipleship, and God Is Closer Than You Think.
Francis Chan: “Give God Glory in Our Calling.” Francis is pastor of Cornerstone Church and president of Eternity Bible College in Simi Valley. He is a highly sought after and gifted speaker, engaging adults and youth throughout the U.S. and challenging them to deeper commitment. He can be heard on his radio program “Truth Be Known”. Francis has a great sense of humor, a genuine love for Christ and a commitment to teach straight from the Word of God. Francis and his wife Lisa have been married for twelve years and have four children. He is a graduate of The Master’s College and Seminary.
Brenda Salter McNeil: “Give God Glory in Our Relationships.”
Brenda is a gifted communicator who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of racial and ethnic reconciliation. She is founder of Overflow Ministries, a nonprofit, faith based organization devoted to the ministry of racial reconciliation. She continues this work through Salter McNeil & Associates, LLC, a racial and ethnic reconciliation training, consulting and leadership development company based in Chicago. She earned an M. Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary and a D. Min. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dan Chun. Dan is president of Hawaiian Islands Ministries (HIM), which he founded with his wife Pam in 1983. He has been senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu since 1994. Prior to that he was associate pastor with singles at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church from 1985 to 1992. Born and raised in Hawaii, Dan left an early career in television broadcast journalism with the Honolulu, Hawaii CBS affiliate KGMB-TV to commit to full-time Christian ministry. Dan has been a speaker at national Promise Keepers stadium events and is passionate about bringing revival to the Bay Area and Hawaii by uniting the Church of Jesus Christ through equipping church leaders.
Even if you’re not a Christian, you should watch these sessions out as examples of great speaking and evangelism although this isn’t a fair comparison because eternal life and forgiveness are far better products than most operating systems. :-)
I’ve been ‘lurking’ for some time, but just had to say thanks for this item. I’ve long been of the opinion that Christian preachers are some of the best communicators (I know some real bores too, though). Although I can’t ignore the power of the content of what preachers say, there is also the passion caused by their belief.
Original evangelism is literally ‘out of this world’, but it’s great to see someone acknowledging the gifts and talent out there in the Christian community:)
These guys may be able to talk but what about the actions that back it?
I wonder what Richard Dawkins and Dick Taverne make of this post…
I think that most religions do a bang up job of both sales and marketing. Look at how the Hare Krishnas effectively use the reciprocity norm. Mind blowing. Businesses can learn a thing or two from them.
I think we could all guess what Dawkins would say, he’s kind of a ‘one-note samba’ in the greater God debate. Not to detract from the brilliance of Dawkins’ writings, but he couldn’t countenance agreement with Stephen Jay Gould, and they had WAY more in common than Guy and Richard do…
But I think your point is: It is interesting to see a person as visible as Guy have the courage to voice (and support) his beliefs publicly. Too many people are not that strong when it comes to religion, whatever that may be, in this Valley.
Kudos Guy! As a fan for many years, I find new reasons to reaffirm my opinions in this blog daily.
although eternal life and forgiveness are better than most operating systems.
Uh oh. I think I know what Microsoft will be promising for Vista TNG.
Everyone deserves to see Cisco CEO John Chambers speak in person once in their life.
This is a man who has truly mastered the evangelical pitch.
As much as Jobs is able to make you want to wear mock-turtle neck and pay attention to details, Chambers uniquely captures your imagination and makes you think that a stream of bits running through boxes he’ll sell you can truly change the world.
I once talked to an exec at Cisco who had worked at Apple 83-88 and she said: “I’ve been lucky, I’ve gotten to work at two companies that changed the world.”
Yay Kawasaki-blog readers!
On the reverse side, we surely see the consequences of not accurately training the trainers when it comes to religion!
I think it is an abuse of power to evangelize delusions. How do we reign in the power of great speakers? How do we know they speak the truth? Does religion need to be sold like an Apple computer? If God exists, He would be easy to believe in. I turn my head when I am being preached at. I have to avert my eyes to be able to think clearly and seek the truth. Marketing has become a war to out gun Marketing. The noise floor is rising higher and higher obscuring the signal. More and more dollars are invested in getting the attention of consumers instead of providing quality products. I talk to people who are “brand aware”, “Born again” and I wonder why they gave up thinking. Perhaps they got too tired looking for truth in the landfill of advertisements.
Like Mr. Holloway above, I’ve been a lurker too. I definately enjoy your posts, I learn a lot from them.
It’s fascinating that you attended the Billy Graham school, I think that’s a brilliant move. Thanks for the links on this post, I wasn’t familiar with “HIM” until you wrote about this. I’ll go watch the videos now…
Long time lurker here too – but always loving your posts.
Another blogger turned me on to Francis Chan a few months ago. Amazing speaker – he flicked dollar bills at people in the audience and said, “See, you don’t care because it’s only a dollar,” illustrating affluence and an unrealistic worldview.
To add to your list of great speakers from the pulpit: Andy Stanley (pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta) and Louie Giglio.
I also had the chance of listening to two other great speakers at North Point, Judy Reamer (a Jewish Christian…yes, it may sound like an oxymoron, but listen to her story below) and Ashfin Ziafat (a fomer Muslim turned Christian).
Andy (first few minutes is a skit)
Judy’s Story http://www.northpointministries.org/stream.jsp?mediaItemID=1658
Guy asked about downloadable audio of evangelists; many great preachers, from classic to current and from different background, can be heard via stream or MP3 at: http://www.sermonaudio.com/main.asp
I’ve enjoyed and learned from Guy’s writings since the 1980’s! Thanks!!
Now, that’s edgy!
A business blog talking about Christian stuff. I know you’ll get a lot of “kudos” comments (as is already evident), so I’m not going to join the crowd.
But, extending the point you’re making, you’ve been one of the only people I’ve seen who manages to promote excellence inside the “Christian world”. It’s hard to do. Not just because finding excellence inside of the “Christian world” is difficult, but because you’re a business guy. And successful business guys typically separate church and business as much as possible.
You’re the first I’ve seen willing to take up the challenge (and most likely win). And for that, “kudos”!
I think we see in Guy the manifestation of a person that takes life as a whole as a living vocation. We also see in him the ability to harness the ancient and sacred and present it as global and tangible, ultimately revealing evangelism as an artform of the heart.
I guess more than a few lurkers are revealing themselves from this post. Thanks for giving light to these really great pastor/speakers. Another great teacher is the director of “Alpha US” Todd Hunter: he’s given some of the most practical and inspiring talks on leadership that I’ve heard.
Excellent post Guy! I was just having a conversation the other day with several entrepreneurs that pointed out the lack of mention of personal faith by other prominent entrepreneurs in the US. It seems that too many of them would choose to shy away from this controversial topic. It’s refreshing to see somebody like yourself that’s willing to “put your neck on the line” for something you passionately believe in.
Great post about what it means to be a great communicator.
One of the toughest things to do is to mix religion and business. However, I find this somewhat strange because what makes Guy Guy and Kevin Kevin is due to our beliefs. Our core values and beliefs are paramount to our success and unfortunately we often don’t go there all in the name of being politically correct. The leadership role is very lonely. Thanks for having the courage to cross the boundaries.
Another great speaker that you need to listne to is President Gorden B. Hinckley. You can see his archives on www.lds.org
One of our great privileges is having had Guy on the HIM board for several rounds since the early 90s. Guy talks the talk, and he walks it, too – no shitake. Love the remarks about outstanding Christian speakers. We’ve had Louie Giglio, Francis Chan, Tony Campolo, Beth Moore, Bill Hybels, John Ortberg, Tony Evans, Paul Sheppard, and Guy himself. Far away some of the best communicators in any field. Next March: Patrick Lencioni. As for the streaming, “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
I’m a big fan of yours and really appreciate cross-pollination. Keep it up! And the HIM site is excellent.
It goes without saying [but I’m going to say it anyway] – you are an extraordinary human, and this world is indeed a better place with you in it! I too would like to say thanks for this refreshing post. I’m a sucker when it comes to conversations about the ineffable :-)
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas, Duncan
I’ve head the pleasure to watch & listen to Rick Warren (Saddleback Church/Purpose Driven Life author) speak the same message over 6 services (I’m a musician on stage). Never once have I ever seen him ‘mail it in’. Being able to give the same message again and again yet sound fresh and unique is an amazing gift that sets speakers like Rick apart.
Very excited to see a person in your position that sees the big picture. I think that you give the VC and Entrepreneur community a good name. Because it is hard to live by a set of principles in life when many don’t to there advantage. Way to overcome!
What I found interesting is the ways in which faith based organizations are using video over the web to extend their reach. My company, Narrowstep, helps people launch such video stations over the web including The Vatican, God TV, Faithglobe and others. it’s a tremendous opportunity to extend yourself out to your community.
Any chance Hawaiian islands ministries is looking to do the same?
Check Out Guy Kawasaki’s Blog!
I don’t know if you know about Guy Kawasaki or not, but you really should. He’s written some of my favorite books (The Art of the Start and Selling the Dream). He’s also got a great blog, no matter what
briang: Everyone has their beliefs, and everyone has their delusions, whether those beliefs are in what they’re selling or those delusions concern their chances of success.
It’s not wrong to evangelize your beliefs, delusional or otherwise. You only cross the line when you violate the rights of others to do it.
I just got Art of the Start as a Christmas gift. After reading this posting, I think I shall appreciate the book and thinking behind it even more. I certainly believe that the Gospels can never be out marketed ;-) But I do know if one can live by their ideals and apply them to their entrepreneurial passions, then you win no matter what.
God richly bless you and your family.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
In perfect web 2.0 style and in the age of the personal “brand-building,” I think I just became a bigger fan of Guy because of this post. By sharing your world (who you have looked to in your training and some of your personal affiliations) you have made yourself more real, more approachable and much more accessible. The brand of Kawasaki has grown because of this post. Thanks for sharing.
In Ohio, we only dream of sunny ministry opposrtunities (like in Hawaii or California), but any businessman who is also a Christian should definitely read these books by our local business leader John Beckett:
Faith and business DO go together!
Notiz: Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki schreibt in seinem Blog ber Evangelism: Eternal Life, Forgiveness, and Operating Systems. Dabei nimmt er Bezug auf eine Konferenz der Hawaiian Islands Ministries und empfiehlt die Vortrge (u.a. von Bill Hybels) sich anzuh…
Really impressed by this post. Thanks Guy.
Great Post from Guy Kawasaki’s Blog
Evangelism: Eternal Life, Forgiveness, and Operating Systems A little known story: When I was writing Selling the Dream—How to Promote Your Product, Company, or Idea—and Make a Difference Using Everyday Evangelism, I attended the Billy Graham School of…
My young friend, one of the most competent, intelligent, and enthusiastic young ladies I know, told me that she could not sell. My first thought was, Fooey! You could sell pain in a surgical ward. My next thought was Good!
Guy, the notion that there is a wall of separation between the skills necessary for business and ministry creates an unnecessary hindrance to the process of both sphere learning from the other. You break down that wall skillfully and with integrity. Integrity is about integrating the dimensions of our lives and I appreciate what you do here with shame or reluctance. – Tom Sims