Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review - Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

From time to time, I like to read books that strike my interest. They can be business books, leadership books, or just interesting non-fiction titles. The book that I just finished reading was Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. This is a book about why certain things die on the vine and other things go viral, even if they seem extremely ridiculous.

Dr. Berger has broken down the idea of going viral into six different areas. They seemed simple, but, as I look back on them, I can completely understand where he is coming from. I guess that is why he gets the big money.

The six areas are as follows:
  • Social Currency - We share things that make us look good or help us compare favorably to others.
  • Triggers – Ideas that are top of mind spread.
  • Emotion – When we care, we share.
  • Public – People tend to follow others, but only when they can see what those others are doing.
  • Practical – Humans crave the opportunity to give advice and offer tips
  • Stories - People do not just share information, they tell stories.
I am reviewing this book here because there are so many implications for making the Gospel go viral. For example, if students are aware of the emotions dealing with their friends and relatives on their way to eternity without Christ, they will be more likely to share the Gospel with those individuals. If they have a story of life change, they will share that story with others.

I realize that Dr. Berger did not write this Contagious: Why Things Catch On for ministry. However, there are so many ideas and tactics in the book that I think it is a must-read for youth pastors and others who want to make the Gospel go viral.


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