This summer, I have a couple jobs. I’m working on some Cleave Design projects, co-leading the Macrina Community with Sarah and putting in around 30 hrs/wk at the Apple Store. For those of you who know me, this is a pretty sweet job for me. I got my first Mac about 4 years ago when I bought a 12″ PowerBook. I was excited but a little skeptical about it – being that it was my first Apple product, and I had grown up in a family where we used Gateway 2000 and DELL computers. But it took hardly no time at all before I was in love with the computer, and became a full-fledged Mac-evangelist.
My friends at seminary used to joke with me that I “converted” more people from PC to Mac, than I did people to Christianity.
So, for about 30 hours each week, I’m a salesman. We use different language at Apple though, so my job title is officially Specialist. But still – I’m trying to sell MacBooks, iMacs, iPods and iPhones. However, there is a big difference that sets the Apple Stores apart from other retail stores, and especially other types of sales people – we don’t get commission. Some people are shocked when we tell them that – they expect that we’re making money off the sales, just like so many others who do similar work.
But that’s the difference. For the most part, we aren’t “trying” to sell anything to anyone. I personally love Apple – I love my MacBook, my iPod and I especially love playing with the new iPhone I bought Sarah. And I love telling people about why I love these products – but there is no pressure. I’m okay if they don’t want to get one today. It’s fine with me if they just want to speak with someone else, someone who might be more able to understand their perspective. And if, in the end, they just don’t want an Apple product, I respect that and trust that they are making the right decision.
Sometimes I wonder if Christians try to sell Jesus and Christianity too hard. Sometimes I wonder if we should even “try” to sell Jesus. If people have spiritual questions, I’m more than willing to tell them why I have chosen the path I’m on and what circumstances and decisions have brought me to this place, but I’m not going to try and force anything on them. It’s not like we’re working on commission or anything. Jesus never said “Go out and convert people!” Jesus did command us to share the good news – and one way we can do that is by witnessing to the ways in which we’ve experienced God. We’re certainly not called to be “sales people” for Jesus – and while we may not be Specialists in many things, we do know about our own experiences and life, and that is what we can share with others.