One of the biggest issues I have with the evangelical church in America is its obsession with capitalism. Or, I should clarify, the philosophy of capitalism.

Maybe it’s my Calvinistic bent, but I cringe every time I read about church growth programs, evangelistic methodologies, and cool, innovative ways to trick reach the lost with hip sermons.

I guess that’s why, when purusing the posts at Lifehacker, I was impressed with one titled, Give a Presentation like Steve Jobs. Kevin Purdy, the Lifehacker author, links to Deliver a Presentation like Steve Jobs, from BusinessWeek, and states:

BusinesssWeek gets a communication coach to analyze Steve Jobs’ latest Macworld keynote speech and pull out 10 tips that us mere mortals can apply to our own presentations. One strategy in particular seems to be what makes Jobs’ product introductions stand out from the typical “gee whiz” events:

Sell the benefit. While most presenters promote product features, Jobs sells benefits. When introducing iTunes movie rentals, Jobs said, “We think there is a better way to deliver movie content to our customers … most of us watch movies once, maybe a few times. And renting is a great way to do it. It’s less expensive, doesn’t take up space on our hard drive…” Your listeners are always asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” Answer the question. Don’t make them guess. (emphasis in original)

How close is that methodology to the so-called evangelistic pitch we often hear in churches today? Rather than hear the Biblical idea that we are all sinners, we’re presented a notion which purports to sell the benefit of having a personal relationship with Jesus. Rather than hearing that God commands us to repentance, we hear messages which pander to the “What’s in it for me?” question our listeners are always asking themselves.

Think about it, the next time you’re in church.

Filed under: ChristianityCultureProtestantismReligionRusty

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