Andrew Fisher was at a Christian men’s conference when, after hearing a message about “not carrying Jesus as your backpack”, he felt prompted to make a decision which has changed the way he presents himself to the world.

“It really all came about from just wanting to make a personal statement about our faith...” says the 39-year-old whose nickname is ‘Fishtail’.

V8 ute

DRIVING HOME A MESSAGE: Andrew Fisher's V8 ute complete with 'Jesus. All About Life badging'. 

 

“It just really suited, I guess, where I sort of stand as far as Christianity and making it part of your everyday life.”

- Andrew Fisher explains why he decided to badge his V8 ute with Jesus. All About Life.

“I’d originally just thought of actually just putting a fish or something like that on the back. But I came home and spoke to my wife about it after being challenged at a conference...and she said ‘Well, why don't we use the Jesus. All About Life (slogan)?’”

Since the start of the year, his V8 ute has displayed the slogan of the media advertising campaign which is being run in cities around Australia.

Created by the Bible Society in New South Wales, the media campaign aims to create a point of connection between the church and the surrounding community. First run in Adelaide in August 2005, the campaign has since run in Canberra and will kick off in Tasmania later this year and in Western Australia next year.

Fisher, a Sydney-based businessman, attends Gymea Baptist Church in the southern suburb of Kirrawee where Karl Faase - Christian TV host and one of the co-directors of the Jesus. All About Life campaign - is senior pastor. 

Fisher says he was impressed by the way the Jesus. All About Life campaign encourages people to make Christ a central part of their whole life.

“It just really suited, I guess, where I sort of stand as far as Christianity and making it part of your everyday life.”

Born out of his passion for cars, Fisher moved into racing as a part-time concern about seven or eight years ago. He initially entered the Daewoo Cup - a 500 kilometre endurance race - back in 1998-99, and then moved into racing in MG series and the Lotus series. This year is his first racing V8 utes. He’s currently running at fifth in the championship. 

Fisher, who is married with two young children, grew up in the church and says he never really wandered far from it. While the decision to display the Jesus. All About Life logo was “working out well”, he doesn’t play down the fact that it did mean forgoing using the advertising space to help raise the $160,000 a year it takes to keep the vehicle in the series.

That said, Fisher notes that Christian organisations such as Christian Super and Melbourne’s Light FM, have really got behind the idea and provided such things as financial support and free advertising while some individuals have also stepped up.

“We got an email from a person today saying they’ve sold their house and would like to put a bit of money in - those sort of things come out of the blue which makes you feel it’s all worthwhile.”

Noting that racing is not the stereotypical place where people expect to find a Christian, Fisher describes the reaction he’s received as “huge”. 

Feedback has come from people who might not agree with him but support what he’s doing - “a lot of conversations start with ‘I’m not a religious person myself but it’s good that you’re doing it and good that you’re in the series’” - through to those who don’t appreciate what he’s doing and treat him as if he’s a “bit of a moron and generally take a wide berth”.

Fisher says that it has opened up the opportunity to share his faith with others.

“It’s opened up the questioning. There’s been a lot of questions asked about ‘What’s your actual faith?'; 'What do you believe in?'; 'Do you knock on doors?'; 'What do you think about that?'; 'What does God think about that?' - it’s been very much that sort of communication.”

“It’s opened up the questioning...(T)here’s been a lot of questions asked about ‘What’s your actual faith?'; 'What do you believe in?'; 'Do you knock on doors?'; 'What do you think about that?'; 'What does God think about that?' - it’s been very much that sort of communication.”

Fisher describes his interaction with others as being more about apologetics rather than evangelism.

“That’s a real mindset that I had to get into. I mean, I’m a good communicator - that’s what I do for my job - so I’m fairly fortunate with that but I did have to change my process of thinking from evangelism to apologetics because people want to hit you with the big stuff. They’re not there to sort of say ‘How to I become a Christian?’, they’re there to say ‘Well, what’s this whole Christianity all about?’.”

That means framing up answers that are quick and to the point and which inevitably lead back to what Fisher describes as the ‘Lord, liar or lunatic’ question - that Jesus was either the greatest liar the world has ever seen, a lunatic or that Jesus was who He said He was. 

“Because that’s what it comes back down to - what are you going to choose? You can either think that I’m a lunatic, that’s He’s your Lord or that we’ve all got it wrong and that He was a liar - those are your choices basically because otherwise you get into this whole ‘Well how big is God?’ and ‘Why is God this?’ and ‘Why is God that?’ and in 30 seconds, you just can’t answer those sorts of questions.”

www.jaalv8ute.com.au