I sometimes wonder about church and preaching. In my more cavernous depths, a small, persistent candle still flickers, ignited in childhood – my teddy bears were spoken sternly to concerning the condition of their souls and my mother did the readings since I couldn’t manage the long words. Later, I was originally seduced by what one might describe as the ‘ambiance of heaven’. I listened to the dreamweaver as he led me to Zion’s mountain and left me there to be met. Later, I took up my own tambourine and showed others the foothills.
To succeed, dreamweavers are marketers; they have to touch dreams. They must ensure that the product is rationally consistent, also emotionally charged by creating something worthy of the company’s original taste. They must construct a theatrical setting, an ambiance where worth and excellence are transformed into unforgettable experiences. They must assign a name to that setting: a credible and exciting ‘brand’ that pulls the customers in and builds their expectations. They must relay an alluring, seductive message that mingles poetry with reality, truth with romance. Finally, they must find the customers worth seducing.
Everybody’s a salesman. Whether seeking to convince someone to buy an idea or influence an employer, win someone’s love, everyone’s selling something. Many preachers think that selling their product is accomplished solely through recitation of facts, teachers being secondary offenders. However, the individual that makes theatre, creates an unforgettable ambiance, converting fact into poetry, will become the more effective communicator. No product is more excellent and of more value than the believer’s.
One day, I should like the opportunity. There. I said it. Perhaps I’m going to regret having done so, since what one says is often what one gets.
If you’re uncomfortable with the word “seduce”, don’t be. Scripture is full of images about romantic love.