Thursday, November 19, 2009

If You Sell Jesus, People Won't Buy

There is a prevailing temptation among Christians to focus on 'selling' Jesus instead of helping people discover and know Him. In marketing parlance, it's the tendency to be product-oriented instead of being marketing-oriented.

Christians generally have this 'thing', this template, this experience, this absolute truth, that they expect others to appropriate and embrace, failing which we judge (albeit quietly and sometimes not so) that everyone else except us are the ones who need fixing.

And may be the case that people need to find the Lord in their own ways, come to Him with their own hang-ups, their own categories of thinking/doubt, their personally nuanced questions. I recall (with regret) my response a colleague some years back. She told me she found that church services were kinda boring. I was thinking in my heart that if she tried to live the principles taught she wouldn't find it boring i.e. either she didn't understand or she didn't try.

This was my problem (and still is in some sense): I focused entirely on what she hadn't been doing right.

I didn't ask her what her spiritual-emotional needs were. I didn't ask her what she expected from church.
I didn't ask her how she felt church could be improved to present Jesus in a more accessible manner. I didn't ask her what she was in fact 'looking for' in life.

I all out fired my guns, mentally (and triumphantly) categorised her as a hedonistic anti-religious dud and. Of course I didn't say all this to her. I ended up telling her, well why don't you just switch church? She eventually left it - whose 'fault' was that, you think?

1 comment:

blogpastor said...

Yes I too tend to insist they walk the same journey with me, instead of I accompanying them on their unique journey home.