Everything I Know About Evangelism… I Learned from Network Marketing

I’ve spent lots of time developing this effective evangelism training to be different, thorough, fun, and most of all… well… effective.

Effective evangelism is the mission for every Christian and Christ follower on earth.

It’s not because we want everybody to believe what we believe.

It’s because we truly believe in the transformative power of Jesus Christ and that he was who he claimed to be.

There are not multiple paths to salvation as the world would have you believe.

That’s just the deception of the devil, who is the father of lies.

Unlike religious doctrines that preach multiple paths, Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, nobody comes to the father except by me.” (John 14:6).

And C.S. Lewis reminds us in Mere Christianity that Jesus was either who he said he was OR he was a liar OR he was crazy, but he wasn’t a great teacher.

A great teacher must be disregarded if he’s saying he is God…. Unless he’s telling the truth!

In this post I’m going to teach you how to be a better evangelist and have more effective evangelism.

It’s crazy to think God used network marketing to teach me about evangelism but his ways are not our ways, right?

Regardless of what you think about the network marketing industry as whole, the lessons I’ve learned through that incredible industry will bring you value and help you learn to do effective evangelism.

So go make a cup of coffee, then come back, and let’s dive deep into this topic.

Evangelism Definition (What is Evangelism)

Let’s first agree on what I mean by evangelism and a simple evangelism definition.

So what is evangelism?

Evangelism is quite simply the spreading the Christian message or the gospel to the general public.

If you’ve ever shared your faith and your beliefs about Jesus Christ, that is evangelism.

You evangelized to whoever you were talking to, whether it was a friend, stranger, or a group of people.

Unfortunately, most Christians don’t share the message of Jesus nearly enough or if they do, they do it ineffectively.

If you want to be effective as an evangelist, you’ve got to understand and implement some basic concepts and let the Holy Spirit do the rest of the work.

Effective Evangelism Training:
Lessons from the Field

If you’re a regular around here, you know I’m passionate about a few things.

Mainly… Faith, Family, and Business (in that order).

I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and came to this earth as a living sacrifice to cover our sins.

I end all of my posts with an invitation for everyone to start a personal relationship with their maker.

This is the most important message I will ever share and it’s the most important decision anybody will ever make.

I also believe in family, which I keep close to the vest because quite frankly, sharing too much could be dangerous.

Lastly, I believe we serve a God of abundance who wants you to do well… but for the right reasons.

James 4:3 tells us “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3) Click To Tweet

I believe it’s my mission in life to set people free financially so they have more abundance (of both time and money) to do what God has called them to do.

When people are financially able to support and self-fund the dream and purpose God put in their hearts, this is called a tentmaker ministry.

That idea comes from the way Paul funded his ministry and evangelism work by being an entrepreneur who built and sold (and probably repaired) tents.

It’s so exciting!

Anyway, we have been called to the profession of network marketing, sometimes called a virtual franchise.

It’s not for everybody, so if it’s not your cup of tea, that’s okay.

This isn’t a post to promote the industry or explain how we help our team.

There are plenty of posts on this site you can go to for that.

But I have learned so much about effective evangelism by being involved in the network marketing profession that I wanted to unpack those lessons for you.

If this helps just one person be better at sharing the Gospel, it will be worth all the time and effort I put in it.

Effective Evangelism Training Tips

Tip #1: Fear is NOT your Friend

Often people have a fear of sharing their faith.

It can be a sensitive topic and most people don’t want to be looked at like a fool.

But there’s two things to consider here.

First, at the end of the day your feelings don’t matter… They really don’t.

Not when it comes to somebody’s salvation.

In Matthew 28:10 we are commanded to do it, so we ought to.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit... -Matthew 28:19 Click To Tweet

Secondly, there are some dire consequences for being afraid to speak of your faith.

Jesus said:

Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26) Click To Tweet

So, you may be wondering “what does that have to do with network marketing?”

I’m glad you asked.

I did not share my faith much at all before I was involved in network marketing.

But I learned very quickly that if there’s anything that can be more sensitive than religion or politics…

It might just be network marketing (but that is changing, thankfully).

Some people are weird about this industry.

It didn’t take me long to come to the conclusion that even though this business can change a person’s life here on earth, it still does nothing for their soul…

(Typically speaking… I’ve seen many people who would never set foot in a church get saved through this industry)

So if I have the courage to bring up something that doesn’t really matter and has no eternal significance (my business), why shouldn’t I be bold enough to start a conversation about something with the most eternal significance?

And so I do.

Tip 2: Stop Worrying and Obsessing about the Outcome

This is another effective evangelism tip learned from the trenches of network marketing.

It’s a golden rule of network marketing and should be understood by all evangelists.

Outcomes are not your job.

It’s not your job to make people believe… it’s your job to sow the seed.
It’s not your job to make people share your views… it’s your job to share the good news.

It's not your job to make people believe... it's your job to sow the seed. Click To Tweet It's not your job to make people share your views... it's your job to share the good news. Click To Tweet

Do your job and let the Holy Spirit worry about the outcome.

Stop taking rejection of the message as a rejection of you or your value as a person.

Tip 3: Don’t Prejudge and Timing Matters
(It’s not about you!)

You have absolutely NO idea what’s going on in a person’s life and thoughts.

Most conversation is surface level in this world.

Even when we ask people “How’s it going?”…

Usually we expect them to say “good” or “fine” but we rarely expect them to us how it’s really going.

In fact, it can be uncomfortable and awkward when they do.

The point is, if you share your faith, it may be at just the right time.

So stop deciding ahead of time if that the person in front of you (who looks like they have it together) is struggling emotionally or spiritually.

You just never know.

Tip 4: The Product Matters (Jesus Saves!)

Often network marketing companies get people super excited about their products.

The truth is, since they don’t pay for traditional marketing (they don’t pay out until after a sale is made), most these companies have a larger budget for product development.

It’s not uncommon to see better and higher quality products.

The Salvation of Jesus Christ is the ultimate product!

It costs nothing and you gain everything… for all of eternity.

His Grace is sufficient for you, for me, and for anybody you come in contact with.

So be BOLD!

Evangelism Training Tip #5: Few are Worthy

Everyone can build a network marketing business… but very few will.

Everyone can share their faith… but very few do.

It’s the 80/20 principle at work.

80% of results in network marketing (and basically anything) is produced by 20% of the people.

The same is true of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

My goal is to eventually be in the top 1%.

I’m not talking about the top 1% income earners, I’m talking about impacting the world for Jesus.

I’d love to get to heaven to find out I was a top producer!

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 37-38) Click To Tweet

To have effective evangelism, you have to be passionate about it.

Tip 6: Community is Important (The Invite)

Network marketing has traditionally been built using home parties, home meetings, and weekly local events.

There’s a good reason for that.
It’s very strategic.

If there is one thing these companies understand, it is people.

Community is more important than most people think.

People want to be plugged into something bigger than themselves.

Also, sometimes it’s better for a prospect to hear from somebody with more experience and a better presentation.

The same is true for sharing your faith.

If you’re not comfortable sharing yet, then master the art of the invite.

Invite them to church with you.

Here, they will hear the gospel presented in a professional manner.

And, just like in network marketing, remember this when you invite them…

100% of the people you pick up… SHOW UP!

100% of the people you pick up... show up. Click To Tweet

So offer to give them a ride.

They’re much more likely to show up and bound to be more comfortable walking into church with you by their side.

This is especially true if they’ve never been before.

Plus, it gives you an opportunity to talk about the sermon on the way home.

Tip 7: You Must Sow in Order to Reap (Show the Plan)

Guess who doesn’t reap a harvest?

The person who doesn’t plant any seeds.

The devil is a master of distraction.

If you don’t keep an eye out for opportunities to share and opportunities to invite people to church, you’ll miss them all.

Plus, if you get too involved in trying to get somebody to church, you’re bound to turn them off.

So plant lots of seeds, invite lots of people into conversation, and let the person dictate where they are in terms of being ready to hear.

Be willing to wait for the right timing but be prepared to share your story and the gospel personally.

A funny thing happens when you start to sow seeds.

Remember the verse above?

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few…”

When you have the courage to share, sometimes God will want you to reap the harvest.

Sometimes, the time will be right and the person will lean in and be ready for you to introduce them to Jesus Christ.

So be ready!

Sometimes seeds planted many years ago will be ready to be harvested and God will call you to do it.

When you become a worker, you’ll start to see just how plentiful the harvest is.

I believe people spend much of their lives trying to fill a void that can only be filled by Jesus.

We were designed that way on purpose.

Ever heard of Jesus Christ?

People are like a puzzle and everybody is missing the same piece to complete the puzzle.

They will look for it everywhere and in everything (drugs, sex, alcohol, achievement, relationships, etc.).

But they will only know they found it when the love and salvation of Jesus fits that void so perfectly that they realize that was what they were looking for all along.

Effective Evangelism Tip #8:
Watering the Seed (Follow Up)

In network marketing, we’re quick to point out that “the fortune’s in the follow up”.

A “no” now, is not a “no” forever.

The same principle holds true of people being ready to receive Christ.

The key is to not burn your bridges.

If somebody isn’t ready, keep the relationship and the conversation open.

Inevitably, life will do it’s work.

Just like in network marketing, maybe they’ll eventually be ready and ask you about it, maybe they won’t.

Again, it’s not your job to worry about it.

It’s your job to let them know you care and share the Gospel if they ever get to the point that they are ready.

The coolest thing is that when it comes to helping people get saved, you don’t really have to worry about follow up.

It doesn’t hurt and it should be done, but God is the ultimate partner.

He cares about every soul on this planet.

If you plant a seed when the opportunity arises, he will water the seed and bring the “worker” for the harvest when the time is right.

Let me give an example:

Over the years, as I’ve run into people who struggle with the existence of God, I like to give out the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

It’s on my recommended reading list.

Anyway, that book was written by an atheist who found Christ later in life.

He’s also the author of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

That book is short, an easy read, and written extremely well.

It also intelligently lays out ideas that I had never thought of before becoming a Christian and it lays them out in such a way that it’s hard to ignore them.

I gave the book to one of my co-workers a few years ago who was asking about my faith and struggling with the idea of a Cosmic Creator.

She came back to work the next day and told me “I read that entire book last night! It’s messing with my head!”

This was probably 10 years ago.

I didn’t lead her to Christ that day and I’ve lost contact, but I know God has been watering that seed.

It’s his garden, sometimes we just get to be gardeners and plant seeds.

Sometimes we get to harvest them.

But we never have to worry about it or worry about doing it wrong.

Just be faithful and share.

Tip #9: You’re Never a Prophet in Your Own Land

If you’re in network marketing, you may have had an experience many people have.

Mainly, the friends and family they thought would do anything for them… won’t join an mlm for them.

Sad…. but true.

What newbies to network marketing don’t realize is that it isn’t their fault and it isn’t an issue with their friends.

It’s human nature.

When you’re close to someone, (especially if you’re playing for average), it’s hard to believe your friend or brother or sister is going to do something significant.

So it’s normal for them to not want to go down the mlm road with you and they probably want to dissuade you from going down that path in order to protect you.

It’s because they’re too close to you.
They can’t see the forest from the trees.

It doesn’t happen in just network marketing, it also happens everywhere else in life, including spiritual things.

It will happen with you and you may be tempted to feel like your effective evangelism techniques are… well… not effective.

Don’t let yourself feel that way.

Jesus was the greatest example of this phenomenon.
He was fully man… and fully God.
He had been traveling around performing ridiculous crazy miracles.

Then he traveled back to his hometown and what happened?

Here’s the Bible passage from Mark:

 1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing?

Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”

He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mark 6:1-6 NIV)

Basically, the family and friends from Jesus’ hometown only saw Jesus as a carpenter and relative of the people they knew.

Remember, this was even though he had been performing many incredible miracles.

Not only that, they didn’t just reject him, the “took offense” at him.

So what does all this mean or have to do with effective evangelism training?

It means that you can’t carry the burden of saving those closest to you.

Yes, you can and should share, but don’t feel guilty if you can’t get through to them.

It may be nothing you’re doing wrong, it may just be human nature at work.

Yes, try to get better and try to lead by example, but go back to Tip #2 and don’t stress about the outcome.

The outcome is God’s department, we’re just the shipping department.

We get the message out… whether the end user buys it, accepts it, or uses it is up to them and God.

Evangelism Training Tip #10:
Influence is About Relationships

Here’s something people say all the time and it’s easy to brush it off as a cute saying:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

But it packs a punch and a powerful truth.

It can be applied in education, business, sales, and even evangelism.

It doesn’t matter if you know all the right arguments or are an expert in apologetics or philosophy.

If people don’t know you care about them as a person, your expert arguments are worthless.

You may be able to get into an argument about the existence of God and win that argument, but you’ll never influence somebody for the gospel.

And isn’t that the point?

The point isn’t to win an intellectual argument.

The point is to show people how they can work out their salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12) and convince them to start down that path.

So if you’re running around winning arguments but influencing nobody, then you’re evangelism training has failed you.

Tip #11: Practice Makes Perfect

At least 10 years ago I went to an evangelism training at the church I was at.

It was a small group that met once a week for about 12 weeks.

That evangelism training mostly focused on strategies and tactics for sharing the gospel in an effective way.

If there’s one thing network marketing has taught me, it’s that “How To” information will only get you so far.

It doesn’t matter if it’s leadership skills, sales skills, SEO work, social media marketing, evangelism, or working out at the gym.

Techniques are only a starting point. Experience is the real teacher. Click To Tweet

You’ll never bee good at anything, including effective evangelism, unless you have the courage to go out and be willing to fail.

It’s by taking action that you gain experience.
It’s from experience you are able to improve.
It’s improving over time that makes you effective.

So step out of your comfort zone, take imperfect action, and share your faith!

It’s the only way to have more effective evangelism, which leads me to my next point.

Evangelism Training Tip #12:
Imperfect Action Beats Perfectionism

In one of his programs, Jim Rohn describes his business as a beautiful garden being cultivated by himself and God.

He says, “If you think the garden looks good now, you should have seen it when God had it all by himself.”

God is looking for workers.
Be willing to do the work.
Be willing to share your faith.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, that’s one reason the Holy Spirit is referred to as our helper.

The Spirit can take what is said or done in an imperfect way and help a person receive what they need to receive and hear what they need to hear.

My goal for this post was to teach you some effective evangelism concepts, but it’s also to encourage you to just take action, even if you don’t think you’ll be good at it.

Once you start paying attention, you’ll soon realize that people are hungry to have God, meaning, and purpose in their lives.

Unlike the network marketing industry (where every company believes their products are the best in the world), the product you have for salvation REALLY IS the best.

In fact, it’s not just the best solution, it’s the only real solution!

Listen to what Jesus said:

“Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

As C.S. Lewis points out, Jesus was either who he said he was (God) or he was a madman, because you can’t say the things he said and then just be considered a great man or a great teacher.

Because of the things he said, considering him a great teacher is off the table.

If he wasn’t God, he was literally insane.

Tip #13: Facts Tell… Stories Sell

The Bible is full of stories and Jesus taught in parables.

There’s a reason for that.

The creator of the universe knows what drives us.

If you want to help somebody overcome a belief system, whether it’s self-doubt, political views, religious beliefs, financial beliefs, or spiritual beliefs… then you need to use stories.

Stories increase your effectiveness.
So does asking meaningful questions.

These two things can sometimes side step the logical part of the brain.

Stories can help people stay engaged emotionally (which is where decisions are made) and can help lower resistance.

Many of us are wired for resistance.
Resistance to change.
Resistance to new experiences.
Resistance to truth when it affects our current habits and beliefs.

That’s why there’s a thing called reverse psychology.

It’s a thing for a reason.

That’s why Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) has become so popular.

NLP strategies are designed to go around the gatekeep part of the brain and engage the person on a different level.

Without their logic acting as a body guard that won’t allow anybody into the club (even if there is a good reason for them to be there), people can make decisions for change easier.

So if you want to have more effective evangelism, consider learning and implementing some of these strategies the next time you interact with somebody who is searching.

AND be willing to have the courage to take action, speak up, and share your faith.

If you’re reading this for some reason and don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we’d love to show you how to start that relationship.

Earn More. Learn More
Live Boldly. Dream Boldly.

God Bless,

Jason & Daniele

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