When sales-professionals are successful there are many common threads. Three of the most important are a strong belief in their product, product knowledge and the ability to face down the fear of rejection. High producing sales people embody these three things and many others, but if they have these three, they are on the road to sales stardom. If we want to be effective witnesses to the love of Jesus and His grace, we have to embody these same character traits. Ask yourself, why is it that many of us love Jesus, but are really reluctant or frightened about speaking about Him to anyone? Is it because we are afraid of being confronted…and not having the responses that Billy Graham, Charles Colson or C. S. Lewis might offer? Could it be that the problem here is the same that unsuccessful sales people face? Probably!
Most of us have a strong belief in our product…Jesus. We have encountered Him emotionally, intellectually and accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. But we are not always sure as to the “Why” of Jesus. We are not sure that we can answer the common objections about being a Christian. That is where a lot of us falter. Questions like, “If Jesus was such a loving guy, why is there so much killing in the world?” Or, “Christians are so exclusive…you think you’re the only way to salvation…how arrogant!” Try this one, “Why do you have to force your Jesus down our throats…if it works for you, great. But let me do my own thing. Why is Jesus so important?” My favorite, “I’m spiritual, but not religious.”
These are not easy questions and it takes study and practice to know how to gently overcome a question like these. Sometimes, the best answer is to say, “I really don’t know, but I will get back to you.” A more focused way might be to make a conscious effort to learn your product, which includes knowing the formal, hard objections to it. There are many books out that deal with these challenges. Sermon podcasts by Dr. Timothy Keller, Sr. Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC are available free at www.redeemer.com An Internet search will yield many answers to specific challenges.
But then, to be smooth and confident, you have to practice and that means making mistakes. The old joke about “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”…”Practice, Practice Practice…” is funny but true. Good, smooth answers to critics of Jesus are usually the result of fumbling; bumbling attempts…remember how many mistakes you made when you first picked up a guitar or sat at the piano. Only by correcting and practicing and studying did you become proficient. It is the same with becoming a smooth, practiced, believable, gentle witness for Jesus. Try it and see…
The sure result of study and practice, however, is to become a great witness for our Lord. As we grow n knowledge, we often get wisdom from the Holy Spirit to accompany our knowledge so that we can witness with a winsome spirit and gentle demeanor. It is always good to remember that no matter how good our witness, it is still only God that can save.