by Terry M. Smith
Since 2014 our household has purchased three used cars (one was a victim before its first oil change). Overall, the style of the salesperson we dealt with displays lessons from which young pastors might learn.
When Mary Ann needed a car, she found one she liked. I met her at the dealership. As the salesperson shook my hand, he said, “Hi, I’m Darrell.” I replied, “Hi, I’m not.” A nearby salesperson overheard and laughed.
Darrell was undeterred. Pastors, too, sometimes deal with gruff people who don’t want to be sold something. And perseverance can pay off. (I later told him that if I were hidden in the Himalayas, he would send a person on a yak, or a Sherpa, to pitch a deal.)
Further, he represented a line of products, but when Mary Ann said, “I’m a Chevy girl,” he switched lines and she soon had a car of her choice. Darrell knew the central goal. Similarly, most pastors know the goal is for people to follow Christ with others, not secondary matters.
Finally, during one sale there was a slight discrepancy on a number. Darrell noted and adjusted it. Salespeople and pastors best serve with integrity and credibility. Pastors mustn’t say that believing and following Christ are easy, that all problems will be solved now, or brush aside the failings of the Church.
The Apostle Paul was persistent (1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 4:5 ), focused on central matters (1 Cor. 15:1-6), and sought to live with integrity (Eph. 4:25-32). Why? He knew that the good news of Christ—his grace—is the best deal around (Matt. 13:44-46; Phil. 3:4-11; Isaiah 55:1-3).