Selling Religion

One agent arrived early for my training class this morning, so she chatted with me as I made my last minute preparations. She read the class objectives as I wrote them on the dry-erase board; the first objective was to compare our services against the competition.

"I think sales is a lot like religion," she said.

Puzzled, I asked, "Why do you say that?"

"Because, the focus is why we're better than them."

I've never thought of religion as a competitive sales market, but this agent has spent the last couple of years doing some heavy soul searching. She told me that she had been exploring various religions: Islam, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Hindu, Catholic, and protestant. In each faith, she saw the same thing - devout practitioners explaining why their religion is different than other religions. Each attempt to convert her was for the same "we're better" reasoning.

We wonder why people are so jaded in matters of faith and spirituality. We wonder why our talks of salvation fall on deaf ears.

Why do we try so hard to sell our faith? Ministry is not the Olympics. Why do we treat it as if a gold medal depends on it?

God is not a product to be sold.

In a sales environment, it is vital to understand what your competition is marketing. But there is one fundamental rule: Never disparage the competition.

Is that why so many Christians falter in evangelism? Is it because they spend too much time talking about what is wrong with other religions? What would happen if Christians spent more time talking about the basics of their faith and less time obsessing over the faiths of others? Why is it so hard for many Christians to say "We believe because ______" instead of "They're wrong because ______."

We should be sharing our faith by the merits of what Christianity really is, not by the inadequacies of other religious ideals. We should be recognized by our love, but too often we do not love in the way we minister. We need to remember that our ministry is not one of condemnation, but of reconciliation.

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
2 Corinthians 5:14-20 TNIV

1 comment:

  1. You really hit the nail on the head. I think the best evangelism is living a life that glorifies God, loving others, showing compassion, and doing good in the community...I agree it isn't preaching about what's bad about other faiths or religons and why Christians are sooo good. I think Christians make the best and worst case for Christianity, which in a way is sorta cool. We're all a work in progress.