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Using my Moms blog which I have sorely neglected to post something that I’ve been thinking on for over two years.  Seems the perfect time to release it because everyone is talking about Duck Dynasty.  I’m not here to make a judgment about (that’s between Phil, God, and yourself to decide) that but it certainly has brought to the front of my mind this topic.  There is much I have to say on our subject, but this is a good place to start.  

Let me give you some background.  I have a history with Network marketing.  It has been a love hate relationship.  The industry is brilliant and has the potential to really change lives on many levels.  It is also has it’s share of missteps and problems when ego and economics take over and principles, and people aren’t made priorities.  Those problems are not always intentional and what I am about to say in no way is meant to imply that our missteps as a church are either.  

I almost said no to the last opportunity we had to start a business, because I saw so much of those problems and they didn’t match my values, but thankfully someone reached out without pressure to just share the info and let me decide. I began a journey of exploration to find out all I could about the product and opportunity.  Our lives have changed dramatically because of my friend’s willingness to let me go through the process and answer my questions, until I was ready to make my own decision.   I’m forever grateful.  

There are many things the Church could learn from a network or as I like to call it a relationship marketer.  This is just one.  We have a message, a gift that can impact the generations and the world, for sure.  But, how we present that message has a lot to do with how it is perceived and accepted.  

First of all, we need to clearly understand the message.  “For God So Loved the World……that He gave His only begotten son.”  LOVE is the key word.  We didn’t find Jesus or His disciples running around screaming at people or even commenting to those who were not followers about all that was wrong with them.  The only people you saw Jesus do that with were those who considered themselves the religious leaders of the day who were using that to benefit themselves and were unethical, legalistic, and cared more about their rules then they did the people they should be serving.  

What we did find, is a relationship, one on one, person to person, heart to heart.  A conversation about the people, where they found themselves, insight into how they were feeling or where they were stuck, (think women at the well, Mary Magdelene, Zaccheus) and an invitation to have a relationship, experience forgiveness, be healed, find a place to belong.  It was about their place of need and what was important to them!

One of the things people get irritated about with a network marketer is when they won’t shut up about it or they trick, pressure, or try to convince someone that everyone in the world needs to join them in business and that their product is the best on the earth.  Even if they get a yes, what they find is that those people don’t stick with it usually.  

On the other hand, what does work is  building a relationship (even if it is in a few minutes): Finding out about them and where they are at, asking if they are open to information that could make a difference, continuing conversation or sharing a resource for them to read, view, or listen too–all without trying to convince them,  but letting them take the journey of exploring the gift of what you have to offer.  

Our job is simple as Christians but we complicate it.  Love people, have conversations, and share our story and information with permission, answer questions, and then LET THEM DECIDE without any judgment of condemnation.  We are here to represent the Kingdom of Heaven and the work of God in our own lives and let them SEE Our GOOD Works and glorify Our Father who is in heaven.  

This can be done whether we strongly believe something is right or wrong or not! It seems like we all have to have an opinion on everything these days and more than that, we have to let the whole world know what it is.

We tell everyone the church and Christianity is being persecuted.  In many parts of the world it really is.  But sadly, that message isn’t being heard because here in America we aren’t being wise and often make fools of ourselves.  Sometimes the persecution here is because of that.  And just maybe some of the judgment we have is because we are inviting it.  Our job is not to be the Holy Spirit who will work in the hearts and minds of men.  If we are persecuted, let it be because we are truly hated because of our love for Christ and our desire to worship with freedom,  not because we are firmly planted in the middle of political and media frenzy and issues of the day.  We can influence those with our vote, and intelligent discussion of real issues and real people.  

Truth is society is faced with difficult and sometimes very personal issues and the only place we can really make a mark is by our LOVE.  Understanding where a person is on their journey to discovering God and His Love through Jesus is critical to getting the message out.  

If you use the term Bride of Christ to describe the church, think about this.  Fear, Condemnation, Guilt, etc. is never what woos someone into desiring an intimate, life time relationship.  Caring, Consideration, Character, Honor and Respect, Giving, etc. are much more likely to have the impact a pursuer desires.  

It’s time to grow up Church. Respect others where they are.   It’s time to Live It and Love!  It’s time to use the brain God gave us.  We need to share our before and after stories, and how it is helping us now to face the problems we all face. We need to LIVE the difference!  Going to heaven is important but what people want to know about most of the time is what about now?  

It’s time to market relationship—helping those who are open and ready to find a place where they can believe, belong, and become.  

Will you join me?

 

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