BLOGFORCE: The Elevator Pitch

elevator-pitchAs much as we seem to hate to talk about it, there’s a lot of overlap between marketing and evangelism.  Both are an attempt to convey information in a convincing way.  There are also many differences, but just bear with me for the sake of the exercise.

A standard marketing tool is the “Elevator Pitch.”  The scenario behind this tool is that you step into an elevator with someone who is a possible client.  You have the time between when the elevator doors close and when they open at the destination floor to make your pitch.  You don’t have to get all the information across in the pitch – just enough to pique the interest of the person so you can then exchange information and follow up later.  Salesmen and consultants write, memorize, and rehearse their elevator pitch so that when the time comes, they are ready to deliver it.

How does this relate to evangelism?  In my experiences with this as both a lay and an ordained person, the opportunity to witness to Jesus from our Episcopal experience usually comes upon us at suddenly.  At some point in a conversation, things turn to religion and people ask about my church.  I then have a very short window to explain.  I don’t have to explain everything in that short time.  I need to get them interested, and usually put them at ease that even though I’m a Christian, I’m not going to start throwing bibles at them or insulting their gay friends.  Deeper conversations can come out of this first encounter.

Therefore, the BLOGFORCE challenge this week is to write an “Elevator Pitch” of no more than 250 words for the Episcopal Church.  This is an open challenge – we invite anyone to respond.  Instructions on how to participate are below.  We will be re-posting blog entries throughout the week on Acts8 Social Media and then putting up a “Roundup” post on Monday morning.

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander

A couple of links on Elevator Pitches:

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

Crafting an Elevator Pitch

How do I participate in the Blogforce?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste this code at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor:

<p align="center"><a href=""><img alt="" src="" width="290" height="73" /></a></p>

It will look like this:

2. Send the permanent link and the 250 word or less pitch itself to  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday.  On Monday, the pitches will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.


BLOGFORCE FRIDAY: What does it mean to be a 21st century Missionary Society?



The question posed to the BLOGFORCE this week:  “What does it mean to be a 21st Century Missionary Society?”

Holli Powell blogs: Kanye West Tells Us How to Reform the Episcopal Church, and You Won’t Believe What He Says!

*We at war. We at war with terrorism, racism-but most of all, we at war
with ourselves.* – Kanye West, “Jesus Walks”

For quite a while now, the Episcopal Church has been at war with ourselves.  Ever since I joined the church in 2004, we’ve been arguing about one thing or another, from consecrating openly gay bishops to electing a woman Presiding Bishop (who is either the devil or the second coming, depending on who is talking) to forcing the denominational headquarters to sell its building on Second Avenue in Manhattan. The official name of our church’s central office is the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Episcopal Church, yet no one seems to know what it means to be a missionary in today’s society, where everyone knows about Jesus and many don’t really have a great opinion of him.

Steve Pankey blogs: 21st Century Missionary Societies

After several years of hard-knocks, the term “Missionary” and “Missionary Society” are becoming all the rage again. At least in the dorky-Episcopal circles that I run in. The official corporate name of The Episcopal Church is The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.  Over the years, the Church has taken on various nicknames and acronyms for herself…  Currently, she likes to be called The Episcopal Church or TEC, but the insiders, those who work to keep this giant multimillion dollar machine running and writing them paychecks have taken to calling her “The Missionary Society.”  I, for one, applaud their chutzpah.

Adam Trambley blogs: Five Marks of a Missionary Society

A successful missionary society is going to include the following five components as an essential part of its life: prayer; responsibility for individual evangelism; focus on making disciples; accountability; taking people from the harvest to work in the harvest.

David Simmons blogs: Assumed Ecumenism and the Missionary Society

Ecumenism is not a sexy thing.  But the ecumenical movement has in some ways succeeded beyond its dreams.  Many young people already live an “Assumed Ecumenism.”  They see the essential unity of the church in Jesus.  American denominationalism is a distraction from mission. If we approach the missionization of our culture from the vantage point of proclaiming “The Episcopal Church,” we will fail.  We may succeed if we proclaim Jesus in a way that is grounded in the baptismal covenant and common prayer.

Megan Castellan blogs: Sitting on the Floor of the Airport

 As we contemplate the re visioning of the Church into a missionary society, we should take care to move to where the Spirit is already gathering people, even when this appears to be a place without status or privilege, like the floor of an airport.

Frank Logue blogs: A 21st Century Missionary Society

The only difference in a 21st century missionary society is that we need to let go of recent inventions like buildings dedicated to Christian worship called churches, or seats in those buildings called pews, or instruments in those buildings called pipe organs, and anything else that gets in the way of sharing the Good News. We just have to remember what the goal is and beginning with the end of sharing God’s love in mind, consider what tools best get us there.

Interested in blogging for the BLOGFORCE?  This was a test run with limited invitation.  Future BLOGFORCE questions will be open.  See here for more details.


Acts8 is moving forward with a new project, the:


The purpose of the Blogforce is to pose questions that explore Acts8’s purpose of “Proclaiming Resurrection in the Episcopal Church.”  This week, we’re running a test of this concept with members of the steering committee providing the posts.  More about the Blogforce and how you can participate in future questions can be found on its page.

The question posed this week is, “What does it mean to be a 21st century Missionary Society?”  Look for a post on Friday containing links and abstracts to the answers people have provided.

BLOGFORCE Wing Commander