We’ve all been there. You’re walking through the food court of your local mall, bee-lining it to the restrooms because one of the kids can’t “hold it” any longer, and you hear the words, “Free sample?” Your thought process stops for a moment and your mouth begins to water as the smell of General Tsao’s chicken hits the back of your tongue. Your head turns past a smiling lady and your gaze turns toward the tray she is holding.
Little Johnny is tugging at your arm, and it is the moment of decision. What do you do?
At this point, my senses override my child’s pleading to relieve himself and I say, “Sure!” Now, I have no intention or time to indulge in the delicacies the Flaming Kitten, I mean Wok, but I know a little dab will do for now. Maybe next time I’ll get the veggie with three meat special, but for now, it’s off to my fatherly duty.
Maybe you find these people annoying and just brush by them in annoyance. But you know, they really don’t mind it. It’s a time proven effective way to generate sales: Get the product before as many people as possible. Some will buy, some will not. The number of people that buy will go up exponentially however, if you you can get them to taste its savory goodness.
What is this all about? The gospel.
In Matthew 4, Jesus tell his potential followers, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Most of my life that translated as, “Let’s go catch some people.” Intriguing, right? But how do we do it?
Most of today’s literature would suggest that you become good friends with someone, then over time share the gospel with them. Honestly though, if you are a Christian, how many non-church friends do you really have, and of those how many do you actively try to tell the good news too?
I think this is a flawed method, and unscriptural. See, in calling the disciples to be fishers of men, they new exactly what it meant. Their method of fishing was not to put bait on a hook and pray that a fish would bite. No, they took their boat to where they knew the fish were, and cast a net. Some times they caught many fish, others they caught none. When they cast where Jesus told them, their nets were overflowing to the point of breaking.
Are you starting to get it? Jesus wants us to spread the net wide, and offer our free gift to everyone. Sure, some people are going to blow you off, maybe even be angry; but in the end, if we offer as many as we can something they can sample, many more will receive the gospel willingly. Some will chose to follow Christ, others won’t, let the Holy Spirit worry about the results.
For now, let’s try to get over our shyness, and offer the one thing that actually matters in life. maybe the next time you ask someone “Free sample?” will be the one time they accept.