An open forum for general discussions of a spiritual nature where guests and readers entertain the teachings of The Urantia Book.
Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:28 pm +0000
A Salesman’s Thoughts on Evangelism
Let me begin by addressing what may appear to be the mechanical nature of my writing style. It seems to be one of my many imperfections to be unable to convey a sense of spiritual purpose when I propose an idea. Trust me when I say I have every intention to propose these ideas as a method of spiritual outreach.
I know it is generally accepted that the Urantia Book should be spread through evolution, not revolution. Why couldn’t evangelism to some degree be supported as the natural outgrowth of the evolution of the Revelation’s spread? There are so few resources for new readers to engage with veteran readers, and I believe many would accept the new “gospel,” as it were, with open arms.
Using the skills I have learned in sales, a thought struck me: What if these same strategies were used to disseminate the teachings of the Urantia Book? Below is a rough outline of some methods that could be used, and who our “target market” would be.
-Hereditary Christians who do not actively practice their faith, somewhat doubtful and unsure of how to interpret modern science with Biblical allegories (often presented as Biblical “facts”)
-Modern youth whose primary focus is career advancement who give little thought to the meaning of life, other than educational pursuit or fulfilling societal expectations
-Agnostics/atheists/apatheists who are off put by the hierarchical structure of churches and mass religion
-Canvassing door to door
-online meetings, hosted by veteran readers, whose primary focus is to answer questions and guide new students.
-appropriate events where books and literature can be dispersed
-in-home consultations by which interested prospects can have an advanced reader of the UB come into their home and explain core concepts and answer their questions. Web based ads and/or marketing materials where prospects could request a meeting
-encouraging any new readers to engage in this undertaking with the same enthusiasm, referring friends and family members to our outreach personnel for guidance
-Charitable events, such as but not limited to food drives
-Missionary work that would not only serve to educate people about the book’s existence, but also provide tangible differences in people’s lives
-Realistically, this could only be performed with the backing of, or by, a charitable organization
-Presentation material, pamphlets, and of course copies and excerpts of the Urantia Book would have to be provided
-Volunteering would be necessary, and many events/outreach programs would need financial consideration
-Other people outside such an organization who choose to evangelize MUST NOT be prevented from doing so. Nothing has to be sanctioned unless funding is requested.
I appreciate any feedback, or suggestions on how to improve upon these ideas.
Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:10 pm +0000
I'd recommend start by just trying out yourself what you propose, there isn't actually much if any money needed for most of your ideas. Probably the most important thing is doing it, go out there and do it. What is there to lose?
Maybe you've already done some of these things, but for instance pick a neighborhood on the other side of town and spend a Saturday or Sunday canvassing to try it out if you think that might help? Maybe you'll find more rejection than is worth, maybe not, there's only one way to find out. It'd be a learning experience if anything.
Maybe post to Craigslist and ask if anyone in your area is interested in meeting at a specific coffeeshop or bar at a specific time to have a friendly open ended free-wheeling talk on the meaning of life? Not to impose the book on whoever shows up but in addition to their perspectives being aired you'd air your own too.
You bring up financial considerations. How about if you tithe for a year if you don't already? What if a tenth of your income or time for a year or two would be put into the ideas and goals? A tithe is common in a lot of other faith traditions and a lot can be done with it. Not even saying give the tithe to some organization, although that's fine too, but just use it and invest it into your own projects and ideas to see what comes from them and what you can grow your efforts to become.
Test out the ideas, give them a shot, DIY and don't be worried much about limitations. It's possible to be pretty resourceful actually and do a lot with very little.
Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:45 pm +0000
You might try to contact Robert Sarmast. He comes on here periodically and has had some good ideas along the lines of your posting.
Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:18 am +0000
You are 100% correct that the best way to get this going is by experimentation. I apologize if my suggestions seemed to rely heavily on the funding aspect. My mind, perhaps to a fault, immediately jumps towards those sort of logistics.
My career path so far has been the trade of sales and marketing. Nothing too grand: door to door sales, retail marketing, interviewing potential prospects and qualifying them, in home consultations that require thorough conversations with prospects. In addition, I am required at my job to host booths at local events and search for venues, while also generating business by the way of personal referrals. I sell solar panels and the services for them by the way.
One thing I have noticed with my experience though is this phenomenon: even though there are a hundred people that will say no, there is always that one person who will hear you out. There is always that one particular person who knew they needed something but didn't know what it was until someone showed them another way. There are always questions that need to be answered.
Obviously there are differences in sales and evangelism that don't need to be explained at length, but i've often wondered how much more effective evangelism of the Urantia Book and it's teachings would be if those same tactics that were used.
I wonder, and may do more than wonder eventually, what would occur if a small group of dedicated veteran readers gathered information from passerbys the way a salesman gathers leads. I wonder what would happen if we spent time calling these truth seekers with the same fervor a salesman chases down a prospect. I wonder what would happen if we were to be invited into a person's home and life and served as educators, councilors, friends and siblings? What would happen to our society if a hundred thousand or more heard us out and the Revelation was spread as it was more or less intended: word of mouth and personal contact? Would fellow readers by chance meet each other and see it as a happy coincidence when the state of things now is that it would be a darn near statistical miracle? What social constructs based around the teachings of the Urantia Book would arise? Could it all be possible from such simple steps? Sometimes I doubt it, but then I remember decades after the Master's life in the flesh a few rugged fisherman set about to change the world.
Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:48 am +0000
The Urantia Book isn't the thing people need, the good news of the kingdom is. From the standpoint of selling it, the one distracts from the other. That's been and always will be the problem. It's clear however, that the example set by Jesus, the method he employed to teach the gospel, is best. All we have to do is follow him.
(191:4.4) "Go, then, into all the world proclaiming this gospel of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men to all nations and races and ever be wise in your choice of methods for presenting the good news to the different races and tribes of mankind. Freely you have received this gospel of the kingdom, and you will freely give the good news to all nations. Fear not the resistance of evil, for I am with you always, even to the end of the ages. And my peace I leave with you."
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