When I started my career as a banker, I was assigned to a desk as a processor for documents and transfers. I liked my job because I did not have to go out every day and try to convince people to open accounts with my bank. I used to think that marketing and sales jobs were harder than operations work because marketers were given sales target figures and forced to meet and exceed them or risk losing their jobs. In every company, marketing staff will lament and complain about how hard it is make sales or meet targets, but everyone knows that the progress of any business depends on the ability of its sales people to convince customers and clients to buy its products. With time my respect for marketers grew into admiration because no matter how efficient a company’s products or services are, if you cannot sell to the world, you cannot turn a profit.
Over the years, businesses have developed strategies to market their product and sell more: advertising campaigns; promotions and bonanzas, as well as free samples and discounts. Companies are now hiring younger and smarter, more energetic people to drive sales, and creating eye catching and compelling ads to draw attention to their brands. They even partner with celebrities and pop culture icons to push business and make more money. These gimmicks can be as simple as a sexual undertone in their ads, or as grandiose as a huge philanthropic initiative meant to show the world that they are for the mass public. Whatever the strategy is, marketing and hype is key to staying in business. Unfortunately we now seem to think that God needs us to hype His existence for the world to believe in Him. We have now equated marketing the Kingdom, to preaching the gospel. Huge events and compelling spectacles showcasing the beauty of Christian living do not fall into the prime directive of Jesus to us – or of any other faith or religion for that matter. You don’t have to manufacture a beautiful story telling of God’s goodness in your life to get us to believe in Him, and you don’t need to dazzle us with made up miracles and testimonies of great riches to validate God to the world. The most effective gospel anyone ever preached to me was by simply living his daily life in a way that showed me that the Spirit of God was at work in him.
Christianity is not a product that we must sell to the world; instead the message of the gospel is exactly what it is – a message to inform, encourage and comfort the people. Unlike the businesses of today that have to rely on the psychedelic, and prey on the emotions of the mass market, God does not need our hype. Live and act as Jesus did, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. Inform those around you of what little God has done for you, but do not exaggerate or embellish. Whether it is working for you or not is not your concern. Just stick with who you are and stick with your prime directive: “go…preach”. God wants you to testify, not “Testi-Lie” and the world needs testimony…not “Testi-Phony” so share the gospel by living it and not by embellishment or exaggeration because God does not need a hype man.
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