There are as many ways to introduce the Urantia Book as there are people. That said, let’s take a look at some of the ways that are being used in various situations. Yes, this is an ever changing environment where what worked last year may not be so effective this year. The world changes more in a year than it did in a century only 500 years ago.
Sometimes I get asked “why do you want to introduce others to The Urantia Book?” This seems an odd question to me and I am thinking “why wouldn’t I introduce others to this great book?” To me it is a no brainer. I well understand in our culture that is often considered rude to attempt to engage someone in a conversation that has religious implications. The fear is that we are out to convert them to our beliefs, which is generally considered a bad thing. If you ever hope to be able to make a difference in the lives of others, it is important to give up any notions that it is wrong to care enough about others, that you would take your time to share something with them that your feel they would benefit from knowing about.
Our job has never been to force anyone to drink from some particular source. It has only been to point to where the life giving waters flow. The rest is up to the individual to choose or not choose to follow our suggestions. Our work is done.
When thinking about introducing the book to another, I take into consideration as many factors as I can think of such as the persons age, upbringing, education, local environment, economic position, religious persuasion, political leanings, philosophical views, and truth hunger. Granted, I can only speculate about what is true about them. My main interest is the last thing I mentioned – their degree of truth hunger. If they are self satisfied with their current beliefs, it will be difficult to introduce a new concept to them. If they are hungry for truth, the door is open much wider and you will find it easier to connect with them.
Once you have taken a “read” on the person you are wishing to speak to, consider how you wish to frame your conversation. If your friend is anti-religion, for example, you might wish to use secular terms to speak with them. Instead of saying “This book talks about God and Jesus in a whole new way”, you might say to them: “This book has shown me how to understand how the universes came into existence and the forces that guide and control things that are invisible to us”. In this way your friend has little to resist and will not feel like he is getting a conversion conversation forced on him/her.
The UB points out the importance of sincerity, in several places. It is important to care about the person you wish to introduce. The oft heard saying is that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. When you are sincerely interested in helping another in their journey of universal discovery and growth, they will pick up on that and take what you say to heart. Humans can sense a con game or someone just trying to get them to do something so they feel like they did their good deed for the day.
Outreach tools can be helpful when introducing someone. There are many things available and you can make your own if you so choose. I took a year to introduce a person every day to the UB. I called it the 365 Club. At the end of the year I had introduced over 375 people to the book. All I gave them was a card I had made that had the web addresses of three good web sites. I would simply say something to the person about the book that I thought they could relate to. If the person was a student, for example, I would ask them what they were studying in school. If they said “history” I would mention that the book had historical information only found in this book. If I spoke to a checker at a grocery store and found out she was a mother of two children, I would tell her how much difference this book had made to my children as they grew up and had the difficult questions.
Other outreach tools are simple handouts that can be downloaded from some web sites like urantiabook.org or this site. Just print some up and keep them handy for handing out. There are also bumper stickers, banners, magnetic car signs, t-shirts, and CD’s. We also have cards that can be redeemed for a free book. If you don’t have the ability to make your own, cards or other materials, look for online resources of this material. I was at my chiropractor and as he was working on me he asked what the Urantia Book was. I was caught off guard thinking “why is he asking me this…how does he know I read the UB?” Then it occurred to me that I had my God’s Little Helper t-shirt on that has a picture of the book with angel wings. I saw my friend Patrick a few days later and he described a long conversation he got into at a grocery store when an employee asked him about the UB, as he had on the same shirt.
There are as many ways to introduce the Urantia Book to others as there are people. Use what has been said here as a guide, but not as a rule. The Father doesn’t care how someone is led Godward, He only cares that we lead. We are invited to help our fellows “as we pass by”. It could not be any simpler than that.