I remembered one experience this morning and I knew that I just had to share it. This actually happened many months ago. I was traveling from Port Harcourt (PH) to Lagos by bus. Let’s call it #RoadTrip so it sounds fresh. First, they wasted our time before taking off, we were still trying to recover from the vex when this man decided he wants to use us to test viability of his calling. He sha started, “let us pray”. Mind you, a pastor just prayed before we started moving o. It wasn’t up to 5 minutes and this guy wanted to pray again (but it’s fine, the bible did not put boundaries to prayers, so let’s pray). Maybe the other Pastor’s prayer did not reach heaven, so he wanted to give it extra push for it to get to God. He sha led prayer.
That was our opening prayer into Church service. Next thing Baba invites the “choir”= Himself. Before we knew, he was singing worship song. “My brothers and sisters, join me and sing to the Lord. It is by his grace that we are in the sanctuary and not the mortuary, give him thanks…Baba Baba Baba, Baba…ese o Baba…” Luckily for him, some people sang along. There was now praise and worship, “Good Morning Jesus, Good morning Lord….” Next thing “Prayer of intercession, deliverance, supplication, personal request etc.”
This man actually went further to do testimony, I was almost convinced he would collect offering. Next thing he started preaching sermon. He was even asking “members of the congregation” to read for him. I was astonished. You know this thing they do where they’d ask someone to read a part of the bible, then, they’ll echo it like we can’t hear, that’s what he was doing. Classic bus preaching, John Chapter one verse one, “In the beginning was the word”, he’ll now elongate and emphasize some words. It was funny mehn… I gave up trying to sleep because he was shouting to the point where his veins were coming out and baffing people with his “holy saliva”. He started saying wearing trouser is a sin, attachment is a sin, pressing your phone when your pastor is preaching (my sub I think cuz I was doing all).
He now started another prayer session. This was a different prayer genre. This type of prayer was accompanied by worship songs. Sing for 5 minutes, pray for 10 minutes. I was like, this is all night in the day time. Let’s call it, “all day”. He even did the classic, Lift up your hand to heaven thing. My biggest fear was that it would last the whole journey. It was crazy mehn. After 3 hours, it finally came to an end to the glory of God.
I don’t get why people like invading people’s space because I think evangelism is like advertising. Jesus is a brand and you are trying to convince me to subscribe to the belief, don’t just be an average marketer and just be cold calling, cold emailing, choking it down my throat saying, “subscribe or die” and all of that. Be brand conscious. Do it the inbound way. Meet me at my comfort zone where I would be receptive and don’t start by selling your brand. Start by finding a common foot, add value, find my challenges, offer solutions or make yourself attractive enough for me to ask by myself. Connect to me as an individual. One size does not fit all. We are like 15 people or so in a bus, you can’t preach to us all in the same way. It is easier for a Pastor to do that to his congregation because they all made the decision to be members of the church but this is a bus not your ministry, whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. If you don’t have the patience to minister to us as individuals, focus on one soul and convert the person or minister to me with your lifestyle, do me a favor please… Gerrarahere. Don’t make the already uncomfortable bus ride even more uncomfortable with your loud voice trying to burst my eardrums and depriving me from well deserved sleep that gives me the illusion of a shorter journey.
On a brighter side, the man gave me branding tips and showed me things not to do or do while “inbound marketing” my product. Thank you bus evangelist.