Selling People Jesus

I was listening to a podcast the other day, and in it Stewart McAlister quoted a book he had read as saying “The gospel came to the Greeks, and the Greeks turned it into a philosophy.  The gospel came to the Romans, and the Romans turned it into a system.  The gospel came to the Europeans, and the Europeans turned it into a culture. The gospel came to the Americans, and the Americans turned it into a business.”  This once again brought the idea of business and church to my mind.  Since I am studying Marketing at college preparing for seminary and youth ministry, this was especially interesting to me.  I also heard the other day that someone had said that evangelism was marketing.  This is an idea that almost scares me to bring business and the church this close together by way of comparison.  The gospel should never be shared in the same way that someone would sell a car.  Our evangelism should be out of a love for the other person and a desire to see them come to experience a daily relationship with Christ that we have experienced.  I think that there are some business principles that we could apply in the church such as promoting services and managing finances well, but I think that we need to be very careful not to mix popular theories of business management and sales with ministry.  I think that we can look at business for some possible new ideas in relating to people, but we must stay grounded in Jesus’ method of evangelism which is relational and not promotional.  Ministry always starts with the Bible and the principles laid out in it.  Though it may sometime have business aspects, we should never think of ministry in any form as a business.  We are servants of God working as his messengers on this earth to spread the news about His glory and grace.  This is much more important than selling any product.