Imagine you are having a discussion with a friend, when the subject of religion comes up, and they say, “I don’t need Jesus. I’m doing fine without Him. I’m not even sure He’s real. Besides, what could He possibly do for me that I can’t do for myself?”
How would you respond?
You could ignore the comment and change the subject.
You could try to convince your friend of their need for Jesus Christ.
You could share a testimony about what Jesus Christ has done for you.
How would you handle this opportunity?
Every Christian should be prepared for opportunities like this…open opportunities to share their faith. But how?
Salespeople and Order-takers: Are you a salesperson for Christ? We may think that only trained and experienced salespeople make sales. When we analyze true selling, we realize that a very small percentage of sales are actually done by salespeople. The majority of sales are done by order-takers. What is the difference between a salesperson and an order-taker?
A salesperson is an individual who can get an order when the potential customer is not ready to buy or is not convinced this is the right time or the right product to buy. The salesperson, through abilities of persuasion, can convince the individual to place the order or make the purchase now.
On the other hand, an order-taker is a person who can write the order or accept the purchase when the individual knows what he or she wants and is ready to purchase. The customer has made all the decisions. The order-taker is there to assist in completing the transaction.
Stop and think about the last ten items you purchased. Were you helped by a salesperson or an order-taker? Chances are, the person was an order-taker because you were ready to buy. You may have just needed the order-taker to find the right size, color or price range and receive your payment. In fact, if a salesperson was there encouraging you to make the purchase, you may have become irritated.
The same principle applies to evangelism.
Approximately 10 percent of Christians are gifted evangelists. These people, like the salesperson, are persuasive and may be able to persuade people to make decisions for Christ when they are not initially searching or prepared to do so. Evangelists, like salespeople, are persuasive.
But the real power in the Church comes through a team effort, including the 90 percent of people who do not have the gift of evangelism. The 90 percent have nine times as many contacts as the evangelists. The 90 percent are not considered to be pushy. However, they can influence people to make the right decision and can answer questions when necessary. They just need to learn how to be good order-takers.
What is the difference between a good order-taker and a bad order-taker?
Think back to some of your shopping experiences. You may have experienced a bad order-taker with the attitude, “I don’t know. I just work here.” They may have gone to find something for you and brought out the wrong item or the wrong size. Or they may not have paid attention to what you wanted and they got everything mixed up.
On the other hand, good order-takers know their job and their product. When you ask a question, they give you an immediate answer. They are helpful and say, “Let me find that for you.” Perhaps they continue with, “I don’t have that color here, but we may have it in the bacl room” or “I know that does not fit, but I can have alterations done or order the right size and have it shipped directly to you.”
Good order-takers in the church should know the Gospel, have a personal testimony, and be able to share it with other people.
To prepare yourself, take the following steps…
- Develop a clear presentation of the Gospel,
- Share your testimony in a way that will be easily understood by others,
- Use your life experiences to share what Jesus Christ has done for you,
- Learn to recognize opportunities to share your faith with others, Pray, look, listen.
Though most Christians do not have the gift of evangelism, all Christians should be prepared to define their faith anytime an opportunity arises to give the reason for their faith or explain why they are a Christian. In fact, the Bible instructs us to be ready…
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
This article is excerpted from the book Team Evangelism: How to Influence Your Loved Ones for Christ When You Don’t Have the Gift of Evangelism by Larry Gilbert. Copyright © ChurchGrowth.org
For help on teaching others about how to share their faith, see Team Evangelism: Everyday Evangelism for Everyday People
Dr. Larry Gilbert is founder and chairman of Ephesians Four Ministries, and founder of ChurchGrowth.org. For more on spiritual gifts, see Dr. Gilbert’s books: Team Ministry: Gifted to Serve (for pastors and group leaders) and Your Gifts: Discover God’s Unique Design for You (for individuals and groups).
Here are more free articles, one for each of the nine Team Ministry Spiritual Gifts…
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Shepherding?
- Do You Have the Spiritual Gift of Administration?
Each of these nine Team Ministry Spiritual Gift articles was excerpted from the book Your Gifts: Discover God’s Unique Design for You.
Discover more about your spiritual gifts and each of the nine team gifts.
For individuals and groups.
Lead others to discover their spiritual gifts.
For pastors and group leaders.