It is remarkable how many people are jumping into Social Network Marketing (aka Multi Level Marketing) businesses these days. Many of my friends in the Midwest are selling wraps and smoothies that make you thin and instant nail polish kits. Many of my friends in the west are selling oils and skin care regimens, and many of my friends in the East are selling powder mix meal replacements to make you thin and storage containers/bags. The idea is simple: we are all our own boss, we live our own lives, and we get out of our business what we put into it – therefore we try to sell, recruit, sell and recruit.
The model is simple, too: find a product in which you believe, use it, and then just tell everyone you know how great it is and how much they will enjoy it too. This business model has permeated the Christian culture and many people praise God for their product and lifestyle as part of their sales tactic.
Watching this phenomenon overtake my generation, I have been convicted to consider the things about which I regularly talk. We tend to talk about things we know, love and enjoy. We might talk about hobbies, politics, work, our families and whatever else is happening in our lives at the moment. Friends are those people with whom we share common interests and can engage about one or many of those things. It is very hard to talk with and enjoy the company of someone with whom you cannot have a conversation or share an event.
These marketers fill up their social media sites and face-to-face interactions with their product, and even throw parties to “inform” their friends how awesome it is – you can even get a free sample!
What would happen if we Christians believed that Jesus was as awesome as that skin care product or slimming shake? What would happen if we Christians were as proud of and moved by Jesus as we are by our spouse, kids and pets? What would happen if we Christians enjoyed going to Church and being transformed by Jesus as much as we like skiing, running, playing sports, music or art? What would happen if we enjoyed Jesus and not just His benefits and blessings?
It has been said that evangelists are salesmen. But I believe that all true Christians should be evangelists! Sure, most of us will not travel around and preach at crusades like Billy Graham did. But if the Scripture is true, “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”, and if we must abide in Christ and follow Him as Lord in order to be a Christian, then all Christians should have hearts full of Jesus and therefore we should find ourselves talking about Him all. of. the. time (Luke 6.45). If we are not talking about Him, then our hearts are full of something else.
Has Jesus radically transformed your life? Did He raise you from Spiritual death and darkness and make you alive by the new birth? Does He walk with you daily to strengthen and encourage you? Does He lovingly convict you of sin in your heart and life and give you the ability to change? Does His presence satisfy you? Did you have an awesome time with Him this morning? If so, then why do Facebook, your coworkers and friends only hear about what you did last night, that new show or that new restaurant? If so, then how can you fill up your conversations with the product you are trying to sell or your current life drama? Why are we not “selling” Jesus in every conversation we have?
Perhaps He is not real to us, He is just our safety net for after death. Perhaps He is just a pleasant thought that we pay homage to every Sunday. Perhaps we have not interacted with Him in so long that He feels like a distant friend we knew in gradeschool, and we only offer fond memories of Him when something pricks our memory. Perhaps we have grown cold.
But the reality is simple: You might be able to build a business that keeps people’s skin soft and wrinkle-free. You might be able to build a business that helps people get thin and healthy. You might even be able to build a business that offers alternatives to harsh medications and helps people feel better. But even skinny people with beautiful skin will die. And then what? Will we be praising Jesus for the “blessings” of financial success so we could stay home with our kids and buy a fancy house and drive a free Lexus or Cadillac? Or will we be mourning that we wasted all of our energy telling people how great a product is, and neglecting to tell them of their true, eternal need and the only answer to it?
This reality is true for all professions, not just MLMs. Does the company for which you work provide a service? Do you believe in that service and sell it? Does the company for which you work sell a product? Do you believe in that product and market it? You can even work for a church or non-profit and spend all of your energy meeting physical needs and completely neglect the Spiritual needs and reality behind them.
Perhaps you have never been trained in evangelism or outreach. That is totally fine. Do you know Jesus? Do you remember how you met Him? Then tell that. If our hearts are full of Jesus, if we are abiding in Him, then He should be pouring out of our mouths. All day. Every day.