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Friday, April 27, 2012

Selling Christainity : a Salesman's Spin on Evangelism

     I remember it like it was yesterday. I was a new christian, sobbing at a friend's funeral, when I realized I did not know if he was saved. Would his soul be on my hands? From that day forward, I had a real burden for lost people, especially my friends. I promised myself that I would make an effort to evangelize.
I can honestly say I have bought into my church's mission of  doing " anything but sin to reach those farthest from God. After being at the Rock for three years, I believe in what we are doing now more than ever.
     Evangelizing, is tough but rewarding. It is a lot like selling a product. I know someone really spiritual is going to point out Jesus isn't a product and Jesus isn't for sale. I get that. I understand that for someone to get saved the Holy Spirit must draw them. I know salvation is a free gift, that cost heaven everything. I also know that Jesus sent out his disciples on what is known as the Great Commission. For a moment let's compare evangelism to selling Christianity. In essence, that is exactly what it is. Every time you try to convince someone of something it is selling.
      Evangelism is like trying to convince a person their house is on fire and they need to purchase a fire extinguisher, when they cannot see the flames or smell smoke. It is hard sale. One many ain't buying. Many people just do not see the urgency for salvation. Could that be because those who evangelize fail to convince those unbelievers we are different? If we don't act like Jesus is real and the most important thing in our lives what do we expect?  You can't sell a product you don't believe in or use. If you are gonna market Jesus Christ, you better believe in Him and you better know why. In short, you best use the product. Saying that's the way my grandma believed , just doesn't cut the mustard anymore. Only God could take the most gruesome symbol of despair, oppression, and death and change it into the greatest symbol of hope, freedom, and life. If God does that for a piece of wood, what will do for you? So to sell Christianity, your life should reflect your transformation. The new you.The ever changing you. As a professional salesman, I reinvent myself often. I study my products, my field, my market, my competition, and my customers. I try things. Some work some don't . Here are a few truths and tips from a salesman's viewpoint  that help me share my faith maybe they will help you.
Expect some difficulty: I can guarantee you that someone will come to counter sale. They'll claim your product doesn't work, or that they have something better. Christianity will be no different, except for you.
Don't expect demons to play fair.You are God's secret weapon.You are part of His plan. The same plan that ends with the destruction of  Satan.
 Psych yourself : I am not naturally positive, I am trained.  No one is going to believe you if you don't believe. Sell out. If you ask me how I am doing? I reply, " I am richly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved. I forced myself  to say that for awhile. After three years saying it, I am now convinced. There is power in that . If you believe you belong to Christ, don't forget the victory, the joy, the love that ransomed you. Obsess yourself with it and it will transform you. Romans 12:12
.Don't worry about mistakes: Worry if you don't make some. In fact, work harder if you ain't making any. The Bible teaches us to forget about the past and to keep our eyes on the goal. Philippians 3:12-14
First listen, listen first. let them tell you everything about themselves before your talk to them about anything. Make a friend, be a friend, lead a friend. Remember, Christ is a shepherd not a cowboy. Cowboys drive the cows but a shepherd leads the sheep. Lead by example.
Prove your belief in Christ: by A. not compromising your integrity. B. not condemning others. We can't be perfect but at least do your best. Do your best for God, for others, and for yourself. Always remember, we are winning souls to Christ, not winning members to our church.
Be excited. Excitement sales. Ask the makers of oxyclean. Bicycle Bob says it best, "Jesus isn't boring". Focus on the closest happiest encounter you ever had with God. Tell that story.
Get over the fear of rejection.  God has accepted you. You belong to him and not them. This is hard, especially, if you are emotionally connected to your audience. Use the connection, love for others is never a liability. Picture them inside that burning house and try to talk them out of it. If you believe Hell is real this isn't that hard.
Create Urgency:Time is running out get in now. Realize this is life and death. Regardless of what people believe, the house is really on fire. We are not promised anymore time.  Today is the day of salvation. Confidence in what you are selling is the most important of all. People can resort to some pretty wild  gimmicks to sell a product. Churches are no exception, especially church people, who will do "anything but sin" to reach the target audience. Once the audience is captivated, salesmen can use tactics to close the sale, advertisements and promotional products help sell. Belief sales. Excitement sales. Urgency sales. In the end, the product has to be everything you claimed it was. Jesus Christ, is everything He claims to be. Jesus always over delivers. So sell out to Jesus, and buy into Jesus. No matter what mistakes we've made or will make, we always can have confidence in Him.