From reading the description, this is the kind of book I'm trying to avoid reviewing. Any of the Christian How-To books. I want to read other people's reviews and see what is worth reading. Then I want to go find those books and read them on my own, without the pressure of a review.
For some reason, though, I signed up for this Blog Tour.
The church spends $1.5 million for every one new follower of Jesus. Apple sells 26 iPads every minute. What is it that makes Apple so exciting and Jesus so boring? What is it that compels someone to bring their iPod everywhere and their Bible nowhere? In a word: marketing. Jesus is a life-changing product with lousy salespeople-people who are intimidated and embarrassed by the word "evangelism" and who show more enthusiasm for their gadgets than their God.Intriguing.
What would life look like if we stopped mass-marketing Jesus and started marketing our faith like Nike and Apple market their products--sharing relationally, from person to person? Using examples from these and other successful companies, author Tim Sinclair challenges Christians to throw out their casual attitudes toward faith and sign on for a marketing campaign for the Savior.
Written with the wit and wisdom of an experienced marketer, Branded peels away the feelings of fear and encourages readers how to share their faith in ways that are honest, authentic, and, most importantly, effective.
While I really hated my marketing class back in college (mostly the Yuppie types of people in that class), I did find a lot of the marketing concepts interesting, and even with my accounting positions over the years, I seemed to lean towards actually using those facts and figures to determine how to reach people with a product or service.
So really, this book is right up my alley. I loved Tim's flair for describing various marketing techniques. His description of shopping at Best Buy and Circuit City 10-15 years ago was spot on. I laughed so hard I cried. And then I read that part aloud to my husband, gasping to get the words out at points. Hysterically funny. And spot on. Okay, so it is funny because it is spot on. If you weren't shopping these stores back then, you probably won't be laughing quite so hard, but Tim does still make his point clear.
So. I laughed. I cried. It moved me Bob... but did I come away learning anything about how to market my Savior?
Initially, I was disappointed. At the beginning of the book, I was reading Tim's insightful thoughts on marketing using very up-to-date examples in the business world. And Tim would compare that to how we "market Jesus" and Christians are definitely found falling short... and I kept thinking, "This is great, he's right on. But what do I do?"
In fact, I nearly finished the book (it is a very quick and enjoyable read) before I started to "get it" in any way, shape or form. The last chapter, read the night before my review was due, was what got my mind spinning. I had to write and ask for an extension on my review, something I really strive to not do. Because last week, I just couldn't write anything coherent. Believe me, I tried.
This book has been on my mind ever since I finished it. I looked at the little WWJD bracelets at Mardel on Saturday in a totally different light. I'm reading things on Facebook with a different perspective. I'm talking to my kids about faith and life, and in the back of my mind, there is a different conversation going on. I'm looking at posts written by atheists who attended a Christian homeschool conference, and I'm cringing. I'm looking at a recent experience with a group "witnessing" to my baby brother at Mount Rushmore... and while I agreed with almost everything they said, and while I pray my brother truly heard them... I am pondering the approach now.
I get so excited about showing my parents how FaceTime works and hoping they will upgrade their iPod Touch so that the kids (and I) can make use of the technology and talk to them via our gadgets. I rave about my Nook. I don't bombard everyone I know with information about how much I prefer my Mac to the PCs I used for decades, but if someone expresses any hint of interest, I certainly will. I'll tell anyone and everyone how important it is to read aloud to their children.
Why don't I have the same enthusiasm for sharing about the absolute greatest service I've ever experienced? A savior who loves ME enough to pay the price for all the screwing up I've done.
This isn't a book to quickly read and then move on to the next title to check off a list. This is a book to read and enjoy. And then, probably, to read again and think. Or at least to think. I am quite certain this book is changing me. But it is still way too early for me to truly say how.
Read this book. Here's the link again to go buy it at Amazon. Less than $10. Well worth it.
Disclaimer: I received this book through LitFuse. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.