Monday, April 30, 2007

Closing the Deal

As I was listening to Randy Harris speak Saturday afternoon, something he said struck me. He said we in Churches of Christ feel like any time we are sharing Jesus, we have to "close the deal" (lead them to baptism). However, we have so many opportunities each day to share Jesus that if we only do so when we can close the deal, we are then failing to be seed-planters.

Our thinking that we have to close the deal actually works against us being evangelistic. After all, if you can't make the sell, why even try? So unless we can sit down and have a Bible study with someone (which few of us do), then why mention Jesus? Just blend in with the rest of the crowd. Treat people like a pagan would treat them, because without closing the deal, it really doesn't matter. We wouldn't actually be guilty of such callous thinking, but I think subliminally this is what happens.

Let's realize that we may be God's instrument to plant a seed. With every person we meet! You know, companies spend millions of dollars to advertise their products -- knowing that ads don't close the sale. But they present the product so that someone else might have the opportunity to close the sale at a later time. Well, we are walking advertisements for Jesus.

As Paul said (1 Corinthians 3: 6): "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow."

I have known this for a long time, but it just struck me in a powerful way when listening to Randy. It is going to change the way I deal with people. Would you join me?


jross said...

Great post! We tend to beat ourselves up with our statistics. I have a very good friend who knows exactly how many people he has baptized. I have no idea how many I have immersed, but God knows, and that's all that counts.

Light and salt - that's what it's about.

Yes - I'll join you.

Jeff said...

I'm in.

This is a lesson that was taught to me some years back and really resonated with me then and still does today. I hope I never take seed-planting too lightly but I think of the opportunities I have at work, on the baseball field and with other endeavors I might engage in. I know that I could never "close the deal" with all the people I come in contact with but I try to let my words and actions open the door to planting the seed.

randy said...

I don't think we should take grace for granted but I'm trying to be very matter-of-fact and open with my associates about my faith in Jesus. I don't talk to them about baptism but frankly in the world I work in, belief of any sort in God is not to be taken for granted. My desire is that the people I communicate with seek God because I know they will find him.