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 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. :-)