Have you heard that awful phone call from the guy who wanted to cancel his internet?
You can find it here, but a note: it’s very cringeworthy.
The short story is that someone wanted to cancel their internet, but the person on the other line was very belligerent. Instead of letting the guy off the hook, he insisted that the customer give him the answers he was looking for. Mostly, why don’t you want faster internet?
Customer just wants to disconnect. Guy on the phone will not take a hint.
Honestly the whole thing is probably pretty relatable, especially if you’ve ever tried to cancel a service. I’ve talked to a few (much less painful mind you) customer service employees in my days of moving from state to state.
But as I listen to this, a verse comes to mind:
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
Have you ever seen a Gospel presentation go from persuasive to rude and annoying? I hope there are very few times you have. Being in student ministry for almost a decade now, unfortunately I’ve seen a few “presentations” that come to mind real easily as I listen to this phone call.
As student ministers, there are times we can be just as annoying (or worse: manipulative) in our presentation of Jesus as our Comcast pal.
Maybe you need to ask yourself these questions:
- When I’m sharing the Gospel from stage, am I trying to highlight God’s love, or shame students?
- When I talk with students one on one, do I keep pushing even when they’ve said “no” for the fifth time?
- Which am I more likely to talk up? Hell or Jesus?
I feel like sometimes, we who share the Good News for a living forget that “sound judgment” part. We don’t listen. We just persist like the internet guy. Instead of bring students closer, we actually push them farther away.
The next time you have a Gospel conversation with a student and are shot down, don’t be discouraged. Instead, pray for them. Try to bring it up the next time you see them. Use your sound judgment along with your love and power.
Or maybe you don’t have to be told to back off from being pushy when you share the Gospel because you find yourself not even talking about it at all?
If that’s the case, maybe you need to be reminded of the next verse:
2 Timothy 1:8
“So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God.”