Forget the Sales Pitch!

Most of us have probably been to a used car lot and experienced what happens as soon as you get there: a salesman comes hurrying from his or her little office, hungry for a sale. It’s commission time. You know it and they know it and no matter how much they try to hide it or act natural, it makes you want to run.

I wonder if non-Christians feel about Christians what I feel like after going to a used car lot.

Does sharing about Jesus have to be this way? Or can sharing your faith become an Art?

First, what if I told you that Jesus never asked you to sell, convince, or argue people into a relationship with Him?

After Jesus spends time conversing with a Samaritan woman at a well, despite talking about so many difficult things in her life, afterward she can’t help but tell her community about the encounter she’d had with Jesus. There was no argument, just enthusiastic sharing based on her own experience.

In the Book of Acts, Jesus’ disciples are ordered to appear before the Jewish Ruling Council when they continue preaching about Him. And their response when the Jewish leaders tell them they can’t do that anymore, is this: “You can decide whether it is better to obey you or God, but as for us, we can’t help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

What have you seen and heard as you have followed Jesus? An authentic and very real encounter with this living, resurrected person who is God Himself—not a sales pitch or a formula or some memorized script—is the natural thing to share with someone who believes differently than you do.

Second, what if I told you that you didn’t have to prepare to share your faith, because you are already equipped?

Consider the demon-possessed man that Jesus meets in the region of the Gerasenes. You know the story: This man lives in the tombs outside of his city because he is certifiably nuts, loaded with a thousand demons. Jesus tells the legion of demons to get lost and the man ends up dressed, in his right mind, and with a whole new perspective on life.

And as Jesus goes to leave, the man asks if he can go with Him. Jesus’ answer? “No, go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.”

Without giving him training, Bible classes, or any discipleship, Jesus sends him because he was already equipped with “what the Lord has done for him.”

What has the Lord done for you? With that knowledge, you are equipped!

And finally, what if I told you that there isn’t just one way to share your faith or one formula to follow?

Over the years, Christians have created tools to help all of us know what to say when we share our faith. But here’s the problem: we have convinced ourselves that any deviation from a formula equals “not doing it right.”

Yet the New Testament clearly demonstrates many different approaches to sharing faith. Peter says it one way, Paul takes another approach, and Philip yet another. And the journeys toward faith are as varied as the individuals taking them. Jesus says to the man who is lowered through the roof and ends up walking out healed, “Your friends’ faith saved you.” For Zaccheaus, it’s a simple invite to fellowship together, for Nicodemus it’s an intellectual conversation.

What point of need is God showing you as you interact with people who are far from Him? The Good News we are asked to share meets people where they are and also flows out of our own unique encounter with the Lord. That encounter has uniquely equipped each one of us! And that unique, individual journey will be, if anything else, authentic to the hearer.

And in an environment that’s felt far too much like a used car lot for far too long, that authenticity will be much appreciated and much more received.

Jeff Klein
Q Place National Church Partnership Director