Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I am not a salesman

When I was little it seemed like I was always raising money for something. (I guess some things don't change - see storychurch.org to give now!) I remember one time standing out front of the grocery store selling candy for yet another church trip. I think this time it was chocolate eggs, large tasty eggs, for $6 a piece. I remember the man who felt bad for me and bought my last 5 eggs which meant I got to go to Disneyland for free. But it wasn't because I was a great salesman. It was pity. I didn't have a smooth sales pitch, an engaging question, or even a sweet catch phrase like "BINGO!" (see yesterday's post if you don't understand)

I still hate selling stuff. In fact, even watching someone sell someone else on something is kind of awful to me. I hate the fact that it feels like someone is getting manipulated. I hate the false sense of excitement, the way the product gets talked up as if it's the greatest thing ever, and the feeling I get when I've been totally bamboozled into buying something I didn't really want or need.

I fear this about being a pastor. I never want to be a salesman. I don't want to have to give a pitch for Jesus. I don't want to have to talk Him up like "He slices, He dices, He blesses." I fear this because I guess there's enough of it in the church world that it makes me afraid to become that. There's certainly a reality to the fact that I want people to come to Jesus because of what He can do for them - heal them, restore them, redeem them. But Jesus isn't a product, and the church isn't just the packaging, and as the pastor I'm not Billy Mays (RIP). If Jesus isn't attractive enough on his own, lived out by his followers, then we're probably doing something wrong.

With that said, I'm all for churches making Sunday morning worship an attractive thing. It would kind of be counter-productive to say that we shouldn't do that. But don't invite your friends to church so that the professional salesman can sell them on Jesus. It doesn't matter what I say as the pastor - the message they will hear the loudest is what they see in you. And frankly, I'm out of the chocolate egg industry.


Dude amazing post! Love the last part. That really hit home for me.

But wait, that's not all...

If you choose to accept Jesus now, you'll also receive "new life" at NO ADDITIONAL COST!!!

But seriously, I agree that if Jesus isn't attractive enough by how we're living, something is definitely wrong. That has me thinking.


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