The Tipping Point
"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers..." (Eph 4:11-12)
Malcolm Gladwell authored a secular marketing book entitled Tipping Point. A tipping point is when an idea, product or movement becomes accepted by the masses. Gladwell says "It is the best way to understand the emergence of fashion trends, crime waves, or unknown books becoming bestsellers." He says ideas, products, messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do but he has discovered there are usually three types of people involved in the marketing process for this to happen. He calls them connectors, mavens, and salesmen.
Connectors are people with a special gift for bringing the world together. They know lots of people who have an ability to make impact.
Mavens are people who accumulate knowledge about a particular area. They are information brokers who like to get information and share it with others to help solve their problems.
Salesmen have an ability to persuade when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing. They are critical to the tipping point for word-of-mouth epidemics.
I believe these three types of people correlate to the apostle (connectors), often defined as "one who is sent"; the prophet (mavens), defined as 'one who proclaims truth" and the evangelist (salesmen), "one who wins the lost" - all described in Ephesians 4:11.
John Wesley founded Methodism in the 1780s. He went from 20,000 followers to 90,000 in five years. However, he was not the most charismatic preacher compared to Martin Luther or John Calvin, who were recognized as the leading theologians. His genius was organizational. He was a maven (apostle) who stayed in a city after he preached to form small groups of the most enthusiastic of the followers. He used connectors (apostles) and salesmen (evangelists) to get people to his meetings. This created a community around his beliefs in order to practice those beliefs in the context of daily life. This contributed to his success and ability to start a movement.
Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen make an idea contagious by working together to spread the message. Consider bringing these three types of people together to see real success on your next project.
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