Multi-Tools for Evangelism–Let’s Build 50 Prototypes

Don’t you wish you had an multi-tool like the one pictured on the left to engage people evangelistically? I’m tired of talking about what the next evangelistic tool should look like. I want to risk not having all the answers for the sake of sparking innovation, creativity, and a tangible albeit rough product. I want to see 50 prototype gospel presentations by the end of the blogference, even if I have to make fifty bad ones to meet the goal.

Here’s why:

“Meet at the site of the problem instead of a conference room. Point to real things and suggest real changes”–from the book Re-Work

The site of the evangelistic tool problem is the drawing board. I believe many of us are afraid to build an evangelistic tool because we are not a “spiritual giant.”

First the definition: “A prototype is often used as part of the product design process to allow engineers and designers the ability to explore design alternatives, test theories and confirm performance prior to starting production of a new product.”

So I’m bringing the drawing board to the blogference. Here’s how you can participate:

Go to your favorite document creator

Take five minutes, but no more than twenty

Using only a white background and black text design an evangelistic prototype that is either an approach or presentation of the Gospel

Email your prototype to {chain55fortune at upload.slideshare.net}

You have a tremendous opportunity to package your faith, experience, wisdom, giftings, and passions into potentially something that’s globally USABLE!

You can view all protoypes at http://www.slideshare.net/evwhitepaper –a site I created for the blogference with the hope that it would last far beyond these three days. This site will track the number of views for each prototype, and allow for easy embedding/sharing on other sites including blogs, facebook, twitter, etc.

We will be randomly giving away 1o copies of the book RE-Work to those who submit a prototype.

Wondering what documents slideshare will accept? Presentations: pdf, ppt, pps, pptx, ppsx, pot, potx (Powerpoint); odp (OpenOffice); key, zip (Apple Keynote). Documents: pdf, doc, docx, rtf, xls (MSOffice); odt, ods(OpenOffice); Apple iWork Pages.

  • Doug Leppard

    I will take the challenge. I have two I have thought about and discussed with others.

    I love the the thought of getting the ideas going even if they are “bad ones”. That is what brain storming is about.

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      love it doug! thanks for taking a shot at the problem!

      wrote a post on my personal blog–The New E in Evangelism: Engagement if anyone wants to read more of my thoughts.

      • Doug Leppard

        Ok I sent in my 2nd proto-type, it was fun.

  • http://www.dgoffeney.typepad.com Dave

    Brian, i’m going to take the challenge too. I love this idea. Initiative, boldness, & humility, along with the ability to discern which ‘tool’ is best suited for a conversation is where I see us needing to go. With that, I have a tool that is the “Conversational Soularium”. I’ll work on it and post it soon.

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      was hoping you would dave. can’t wait to check yours out.

  • Jeff West

    Brian,
    I have a prototype that I have been working on for Muslim Ministry but it does not meet the criteria you set out earlier (it is more than 20 minutes of work and NOT on white background. I have a .pps version that I want to test. Would it be okay send that in?
    Blessings!

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      definitely jeff! send it in!

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      send it to the cccblogference email instead:

      cccblogference “at” g m a i l dot com

  • http://OverflowToday.com Joe Hanford

    I have several diagrams, etc, that I like to use to illustrate grace or concepts like that. So are you looking only for complete gospel presentations? Or are scraps desired as well, that could contribute to an overall presentation.

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      i’ll take them all joe!

      please send to the blogference email above. thks!

  • http://www.stephcheng.info/ steph

    ooh i am excited about this project. while creating tools is definitely not my strong suit i’ve been thinking about all the different aspects of the gospel that i would have needed to hear as a high school skeptic and landed on one that hopefully addresses some initial intellectual barriers to jesus. i’ll try and throw something up here and hopefully someone else can make something better of it!

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      that would be great steph! EXACTLY what i’m hoping for!

      i’m hoping that if we get enough up there we can start to see trends and thought processes that will sharpen how we think about our own tools and presentations and give us a realistic picture of the evangelistic climate beyond our local context.

  • http://www.hearditonthestreet.com Rich Street

    I wonder if someone could find 3-4 videos that are already on youtube that could illustrate this. Will you accept that???

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      sure. think doug’s comment was timely and wise.

      and for that reason please email to the blogference gmail account. i can sort it better that way.

      thanks for all the great feedback!

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      rich send them to my personal gmail address! i’d be happy to take anything and everything!

  • Doug Leppard

    Brian. On Jeff’s comment on the format. I think I know what you are trying to do is not have people put in lots of time into it but just get it out there. But the 5-20 minutes and the black and white only format was more of an inhibitor rather than an encouragement to do it.

    I think what you really mean is don’t worry about it being perfect or compete or fancy, just get it out there.

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      for sure doug.

      i was also highly concerned with scalability and new visitors to the slideshare site that did not come from the blogference.

      agree w you that at this point it’s best to get what i can, no matter what format it’s in. can curate later.

  • Anne-Marie

    I have been thinking of the difference between transferable concept (idea) and transferable tool… and how we transfer concepts today, in our culture. What makes an idea sneazable? (to borrow a concept from Alan Hirsch… )
    I am wanting to explore the idea of helping people deeply understand the Gospel concepts, so that they can then reverbalize them in many different ways,because they have truly been caught. Is anyone else seeing evangelism training and tool development in this perspective? as the transfer of concepts, rather than material?

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      hey anne-marie thanks for the comments! i think sneezable came from seth godin.

      i’m not seeing a lot of collaborative work on evangelistic tools, especially when i think about how many people we CAN involve in the collaborative process with social media tools.

      what i’m proposing here is really meant to scratch the surface and get the idea of mass collaboration and evangelistic tool development.

      i’m sure this will continue to grow as the tools get better and easier to use.

  • Bekele Shanko

    During Operation Sunrise Africa in 2002, we used 105 evangelistic strategies in Southern and Eastern Africa. Why did we get 105 strategies? It was by empowering people to be creative…we asked people to maintain the content of the message but to change the methods. Some strategies for instance:

    How do you reach people who use taxis everyday? We had a taxi strategy. We produced a six-minute audio presentation of the Four Laws with an invitation to receive Christ. We asked taxi drivers to play the tape again and again. A person who had six minutes in a taxi had an opportunity to hear the Gospel.

    How did we reach pic-pockets in Tanzania? A group of young Christians had trousers with big pockets. They filled their pockets with evangelistic literature and went spelt at bus stations where there were too many pick pockets, people who stole from people’s pockets. Thieves stole from their pockets but when they opened it read “Thank you stealing from my pocket but God has a wonderful plan for your life.”

    • http://www.brianbarela.com Brian Barela

      very cool bekele!

    • Doug Leppard

      Bekele that is absoutely cool. What a creative way to have the gospel stolen!!!!

      BTW good to see you here.

  • Anne-Marie

    That is what I mean… rather than saying use this tool, you said: here are the concepts to communicate: find the best ways to communicate them… Awesome!

  • http://www.scottandjessi.com Scott D

    I viewed dan birch’s revision of the KGP…good job Dan! You’re a stud & I’m greatly encouraged. I like that you inserted ways that people can identify that they actually aren’t as good as they originally thought! some words that, in my opinion, wouldn’t connect to today’s college audience (deity, reconciliation & a few more). He identifies that God is holy & we are not. Very true, but I’m noticing that many aren’t starting off with that conclusion and/or even questioning the existence of God. Perhaps having a beginning of helping a person by asking questions, so that they come to the conclusion there’s a God and/or, if so, God IS perfect. Hope that makes sense & would be difficult to summarize into a short non-wordy transferable form.

    • Anne-Marie

      I have tried creating a powerpoint in French that starts with a basic: Why do we ask why? What questions do we ask? What is the most important question kind of flow… to try and help people who have never thought about God try to think about him….
      Got bogged down, and it became too complex… I sent it in as a french powerpoint to the e-mai address for help and ideas… but would love to explore the use of slideshow/video to share Christ interactively from further back on the Engel scale…

      • http://www.brianbarela.typepad.com/ Brian Barela

        hey anne-marie can you send it to my gmail? i’m emailing you right now.

        i’ll make sure it gets uploaded.

        • Anne-Marie

          I think I sent them to the right address just now… please let me know if you get them :)

          • http://www.brianbarela.typepad.com/ Brian Barela

            got them! thank you!

      • http://www.hearditonthestreet.com Rich Street

        c’est bien!!! Have you seen http://www.questionsdevie.com/??

        • Anne-Marie

          not yet, but I will explore it tomorrow… Thank you! Does anyone else have French resources to suggest?
          I work with TruthMedia in Canada, on the French side. I developped only one site so far ameavide.com, to go with an evangelistic strategy using a French translation of an Erwin McManus book I translated. So I am very new at all of this.

    • http://www.danbirchblog.com Daniel Birch

      Hey Sdown,

      Good comment, and I appreciate the encouragement. To be honest, this mindset behind the gospel presentation I felt the 4 laws are to passive for todays students and so I wanted to be more direct. American kids just dont think there sinful, and I wanted to be clear about sin by focusing on holiness.

      Lastly I havent really experienced the atheist point of view that much, in my evangelism students believe theirs a God but they dont think he does anything or is worth anything. Thats why by describing God’s holiness it adds value to God, if I’m spending my time convincing them there is a God I think that is less effective. Besides most gospel presentations are entered in with, with people who believe there is a god.

      The thing Sdown I would just want to communicate to you the difference between the gospel approach and the gospel presentation of things. For example, if I approached the student I could get into questions that would determine “there is a God and if God is perfect” and then enter into the “gospel presentation” which is a clear picture of who God is and our response to him. I think that would be more effective to spend more time asking questions in the gospel approach so I can then spend time presenting the gospel clearer.

      Another last comment:) I wrote that approach along time ago, so my thoughts are a little different about creating a paper track. My point is I dont think we should be thinking through Gospel presentations in terms of what people believe but thinking in terms of how can we communicate them relevantly. Like iphone app, or evangelism website. I just think the problem is not the gospel but the way we share it. Hope that makes sense man, your a stud!:)

  • http://www.hearditonthestreet.com Rich Street

    I’d like to propose a youtube strategy. we need to flood youtube with these different kinds of videos that either give a personal story of testimony of coming to Christ, get people thinking, explain the Gospel from a different angle or helps a Believer begin a conversation with Christ. Here are some ideas:

    1) Helping a Believer begin a conversation with Christ:
    http://www.globalshortfilmnetwork.com/player?bcpid=62739127001&bclid=62635674001&bctid=62688534001 (many more of these videos at the global short film network that fit many of the categories described above.

    2) Explaining the Gospel from a different angle (this one might be a bit on the cringe side but I think it could be powerful for some people) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgnZL7UNwAI

    • Anne-Marie

      I like Global Film network material and have used some…Is anyone from there in this blog conference? It would be great to explore possible online opportunities with them.

  • http://www.hearditonthestreet.com Rich Street

    WordPress thinks I’m being a bit “spammy” (checked that word on dictionary.com and it doesn’t exist!! :) ) Here is the rest of my comments:

    3) For the testimony or telling someone’s story check out: http://www.iamsecond.com Check out Anne Rice’s testimony there as well.

    4) For the getting people thinking category, how about this video called “The light of darkness”. Easy to start a discussion on what is this video saying… http://www.youtube.com/user/denverstreetcar#p/f/9/4B10yH2meUk

    I’ve been having problems posting links so if a moderator wants to fix this post to make the links work then go for it!

  • http://www.hearditonthestreet.com Rich Street

    Here are some other evangelistic strategies that I like:

    1) http://studentalpha.org/ – a student version of the Alpha course that is very popular in the U.K. I can host my own Alpha course in my dorm room if I have an internet connection.

    2) Encourage someone to take an e-course from our friends at http://why.jesus.net/mod/resource/view.php?id=22
    Allow them to study the claims of Christ at their own pace.

    3) Take your friend to online church from our friends at lifechurch.tv They can check out some FAQ’s here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJQTVVddwao

    My contribution to help get to 50! :)

    • http://www.brianbarela.typepad.com/ Brian Barela

      thanks rich! if you include more than three links i believe it marks the comment as spam.

      at least we don’t have any prescription drug advertisements on the blogference :)

  • http://OverflowToday.com Joe Hanford

    I’ll submit one in just a minute. It’s a great diagram to cause someone to understand where we put works in the salvation equation. This is a good one for when we are asked if all we have to do is place our trust in Jesus’ blood sacrifice, and then we can go out and sin all we want and be a hypocrite. A repulsive thought to a Jehovah’s Witness, Mormon, Muslim, or any other works-based religious person, right? Even an agnostic might be uncomfortable with grace if it allows hypocrisy, and I would not blame them.
    So it’s just 5 lines of text, drawn on a napkin.

    • http://www.brianbarela.typepad.com/ Brian Barela

      awesome joe! i appreciate your willingness to participate!

  • http://www.stephcheng.info/ steph

    just finished mine – i have difficulty being concise so i was trimming this down :)

    hope it’s not too late/ i attached it right! I hope to address Christianity as freedom, not bondage, and demonstrate how God’s plan has been all along to let us choose eternal life with him or eternal separation (mainly, he does not send us to hell for not believing him – we have the right to choose and God has always honored and in fact advocated that choice by sending Jesus).

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