The invaluable word of mouth

Published 8:01 pm Wednesday, January 8, 2020

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

We often hear the term “word of mouth” used in reference to marketing and advertising. Marketing and advertising have really changed with the advancements of technology. Yet, studies and statistics reveal that word of mouth is still the most effective form of promotion if we wish to inform, distribute or sell anything.

I was reading King David’s instructions to the leaders of Israel regarding the building of the temple as it written in 1 Chronicles 28. It occurred to me that such important instructions were given by the mouth of their leader. They assembled together to receive the direction and the work was carried out by word of mouth. In biblical times, much of the instruction and information that people received was given by word of mouth.

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Perhaps word of mouth is such an indispensable method of sharing information because it is likened after the method God has used since biblical times. Joseph was delivered out of prison because the butler remembered that he was an interpreter of dreams and referred him to Pharaoh in Genesis 41. In Exodus 18, Jethro “heard of all that God had done for Moses and Israel His people — that the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt” and then packed up his house to join Moses. Rahab testified in Joshua 3 “For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.” I turned over to the book of Proverbs and noticed the words “utterance” mentioned in the opening verses of Proverbs 30 and 31 with regards to instructions from Kings. Then I considered the Acts of the Apostles and how the gospel was spread by word of mouth, the spoken word of their testimonies. All these examples caused me to consider the integrity and the value that was placed on the word of mouth all throughout the scriptures.

They say that America has a misinformation problem. In these times of an influx of questionable data, false doctrine, tabloid journalism and fact checking, it is a wonder that word of mouth has maintained its superiority over any other form of dissemination. But I’ll tell you why. I realized that word of mouth has a standard because truth is immutable. Certainly, every piece of truthful information that is spread is not worthy of the ease of continued reach. But I think we can agree that falsehoods eventually fizzle, and truth continues to stand.

God has proven that when He is involved in the process of dissemination, word reaches who it needs to when it needs to and why it needs to. Every business in existence believes that word of mouth marketing grows numbers and accomplishes goals. I am not saying that it does not. In fact, I have given you examples as to many ways that word of mouth accomplished exactly what it was intended to do. What I am saying is that we need to trust the process. The right information will reach where it needs to go. The truth knows its worth. In the words of Tovares Grey, “You’ll never see diamonds on commercials begging for sales.” The invaluable word of mouth does not beg for our attention, it commands it.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via or via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.