Newsweek provides some interesting insight into Barack Obama's campaign for President. His surprising success has been attributable, in part, to organizing tactics he learned as a community organizer in Chicago years ago. In Iowa, his operatives established Obama clubs in local high schools to move voting age teenagers from apathy to involvement. His organizers "spent months recruiting barbers and hairdressers to preach the candidate's virtues to their customers."
Newsweek also points out that his operatives made 150,000 phone calls in the days before the caucuses. Their instruction sheet read: "While canvassing for the campaign, you are acting as a representative of Senator Obama. It's absolutely imperative that at all times we remain respectful, polite and overly nice to the people we encounter."
Two powerful ways here to turn hearts, not to a Presidential candidate, but to the King of kings. There is no more powerful force in changing hearts than the power of everyday people using their influence on the people they know. So it is with helping people get to Jesus and get to heaven. "We are Christ's ambassadors" (2 Corinthians 5:20) - hairdressers reaching their customers, students reaching fellow-students, golfers reaching golfers, moms reaching moms, businesspeople reaching businesspeople.
For too long, we've thought people could be rescued spiritually from the "top down" - by the professional "rescuers" like pastors and evangelists and the handful who have the "gift." In fact, every believer is uniquely positioned to uniquely influence their circle of people for their Savior.
The second powerful way to turn hearts is to present your message with respect. Not argumentatively. Not arrogantly. The Bible's been saying that for 2,000 years - when you explain your faith, "do it with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15). We should present Jesus in such a way that it makes a person feel loved, not condemned; bigger, not smaller. That's how Jesus treated people. And it's Jesus you represent.
If it's important to do those things when votes are at stake, how much more important is it do it when lives are at stake?