Evangelism or “Elevator Pitch”?

The offer of salvation isn't a sales pitch.

What's the distinction between evangelism and an elevator pitch? If you look at how we actually do evangelism, can you see a real difference in practice?

Is it true most methods of evangelism are little more than elevator pitches? Do you recoil at the suggestion? Most people I know would object. Why?

Elevator pitches are typically associated with business marketers. Perhaps, you think of smarmy salespersons who simply want to sell you a pile of goods with no genuine interest in your well being. What if we project the same impression when sharing the gospel? Regardless of intention, we should be alarmed by this possibility.

The Purpose of Pitching

We know this is a normal expectation because nearly every training or resource used by evangelistic ministries focuses on getting the pitch right at the expense of the biblically faithful and culturally meaningful gospel. Anything requiring more than 2–5 minutes is deemed impractical, wordy, or too theological.

As long as people say something like “God loves you. Jesus died for you. Believe and be saved”, they assume they've preached the gospel in a way that is actually meaningful to the people listening to them.

Accordingly, people confuse the biblical gospel with a mere elevator pitch.

Pitching a Product or a Person?

What if a businessperson only relies on elevator pitches and forgets the real purpose of pitching (i.e. getting a longer, second conversation)? He'd get really frustrated. Also, he likely will mainly sell to the following types of people:

  • those who are already extremely familiar with the product
  • those who are gullible
  • those who buy your product for wrong reasons (to get you to leave them alone, to people-please or win approval, etc.).

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