The worst haircut I ever received was a $7 special at a local salon. I was in my thirties and my hair was thick and curly, the kind of hair that could hide a multitude of styling sins—but not after the $7 special. It was short in back and uneven in front, with tufts sticking out in random places. I looked like I had mange.

No one at church said a word until Linda, a dear woman in the choir, came up to me after worship. Lifting a misshapen curl from my face, she said kindly, "You need to see Nan." Nan was Linda's hairdresser, a magician with sheers who fixed my bad haircut and then styled my hair for the next eight years. Before I met Nan, I didn't know what a difference a good stylist could make. I became a convert, a true believer, and I recommended Nan to many other people. To this day, I'm grateful to Linda for her hairdressing evangelism.

Every church is full of evangelists, and by that I mean people who spread good news. Listen to the conversations in the fellowship hall, where we churchpeople freely share opinions about movies, restaurants, cars and resorts. We talk about diets that have transformed our bodies, books that have touched our hearts and therapists who've saved our relationships. We recommend doctors, plumbers and hair stylists. When I first moved to Cleveland, the Welcome Wagon lady, in true missionary form, came to my door and dropped off colorful tracts extolling the virtues of everything from lawn care companies to department stores.