After the elections in February I was hoping to see a coalition emerge where the Government and Opposition would have to work together to bring solutions to the nation. Perhaps I was being too optimistic. Nevertheless I’m glad to see that another coalition is arising, what the Opposition Leader, Mia Motley, calls “a coalition of action”.
At least someone is trying to do something. She said that her party must now “win souls” for the coalition of action “that is necessary to save Barbados”. That almost sounds like evangelism to me although it’s more a gospel of economic salvation than personal salvation.
I think that is a good, and much needed, start. After all when Jesus sent out the disciples he instructed them to preach the gospel and heal the sick. Healing the sick speaks of meeting their immediate needs. It also gave them credibility to preach the gospel.
So I would like to share a few strategies of evangelism (a term which I am using broadly to mean conversion to your camp) which can be applied to business and church.
First of all, Jesus did not wait for people to come to him, he sent his disciples to them. The disciples stayed at their houses and spent time in their towns and got to understand their needs.
The Opposition leader is already running with that strategy and I understand has always done so. Recently in the press I have seen her in Swan Street and at a Town Hall meeting at Foundation School, and I’m sure that she’s been other places, going among the people and finding out what their needs are.
Church and businesses take note that in order to find out and meet the needs of your market you have to go to the market and listen to them. Don’t just wait for people to come to you, they may never come and they may go elsewhere.
Secondly, once the needs of the people were ascertained, the disciples had the ability and the power to meet those needs. What does that mean for businesses? If, as a customer, my need is for convenience and ease of access to products and services, is your business able to provide that?
Is it structured in such a way that customer convenience and ease of doing business was foremost in your mind when you created your systems? If not, you may need to improve your processes and make sure that they are customer driven, as we would say in TQM.
And church, what do your customers need? Do they need love and compassion, do they need to understand how to live in freedom and have more abundant lives? Do you have the structure and systems to provide them what they need? Do you have people who will not only go to them on their turf, but are they equipped to meet their needs, both spiritual and economic?
Initially people may require a hand out to help them with their immediate needs, but we need to make sure we give them a hand up so that they can provide for themselves afterwards. We need people who can to go into the communities and teach the people how to use their skills, abilities and resources to create businesses; how to barter with each other to exchange products and services that they need; how to form strategic alliances and partnerships so that they can do more together and even export their goods.
After all, it is not that there is no money in the world; people are still spending vast quantities of money on all sorts of things. We need to find ways to access that money by identifying what they need and want and seeing how we can meet those needs.
Finally Jesus instructed the disciples to preach the Gospel, once the needs were taken care of. What gospel is being preached? Paul told the Galatian church that he was astonished that they were turning to a different gospel, which he said was really no gospel at all.
So we need to make sure that we are turning to the real gospel, not the gospel of the BLP or the DLP, because while a gospel of economic salvation is much needed in these times, what profits a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?
Instead, seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. And remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.
* Donna Every is the CEO of Arise Consulting Inc. which provides business and motivational training and advice to help individuals and organisations fulfill their purpose. She has written four books and has just release her second novel, The High Road which is available on Amazon.com or can be pre-ordered from her.