Seth Godin posted an interesting thought the other day. A lot of the time, it’s impossible to persuade people of anything with just a bunch of evidence, no matter how concrete. Godin writes that in marketing, we should try a different tactic:
…Evidence isn’t the only marketing tactic that is effective. In fact, it’s often not the best tactic. What would change his mind, what would change the mind of many people resistant to evidence is a series of eager testimonials from other tribe members who have changed their minds.
What if we applied that to our Christian witness? Maybe, instead of trying to convince people to follow Christ based on moral arguments, through scientific and historical study, or by statistics, we should just give them our honest, earnest testimony. Guess what? That’s exactly what Christ asks of us. In Mark 5:1-20, we find the story of a man whom Jesus freed from a legion of demons…
As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was imploring Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.”
That’s the first time Jesus goes to the Decapolis. He’s met by a demon-possessed man and a few dudes herding swine. When Jesus goes back to the Decapolis, in Mark 7:31-37, he’s met by a crowd who are bringing their sick to Jesus for healing. That’s when He feeds the four thousand (Matthew 15:29-38). What a difference one man’s “eager testimonial” made!