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?