Have Lemonade, Will Travel

Do you practice Lemonade Evangelism?

My first experience as an entrepreneur dates back to 1974, when my best friend, Lori, and I opened a lemonade stand. Typical, I know. But our approach was not. You see, we lived on a pretty quiet street in Englewood, Colorado. After our first two days in business, we realized that the only regular traffic was the mailman and my father.

Not content to wait for customers to come to us, on day three, Lori and I took a more aggressive approach. We decided to sell lemonade door-to-door. You might be surprised at the relative success of our new strategy. Since this was 35 years ago, admittedly a much simpler time, not only did most people answer the door and take pity on us by forking over 10 cents a glass, most of them probably actually drank the beverages they purchased.

Ever since, I’ve been a staunch proponent of aggressive advertising strategies. And that’s probably why I went into the field of marketing. But I am writing about it today because I am struck by the simplicity of this simple God-given ability to convince other people that what WE have is what THEY want…simply because the reason the Lord gave it to us in the first place was so we would share Him with the world.

Mark 16:15

And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

The stakes for obeying are pretty high:

Mark 16:16

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

I’m not trying to suggest that Christian evangelists are trying to sell a bogus product to unsuspecting marks. On the contrary. Lori and I believed in the product we were pushing. We had courage of conviction…which is always an easy sell. So maybe the reason believers often shirk our evangelistic responsibility is because we think, at least on some level, that we are “selling” something other people really don’t need or want.

If Lori and I hadn’t tasted our own lemonade, we wouldn’t have known what we were selling. So, to try to explain its benefits would have been disingenuous at worst and unbelievable at least. Do we really know the Lord we claim to serve? I want to. But I have to admit I all too often push my relationship with Him on the back burner while I run around like a chicken with her head cut off tending to the temporal?

I spend at least eight hours a day 5 days a week using the ability to evangelize only to further my own professional agenda instead of reaching out to others about the only thing that really matters in life…a relationship with Jesus Christ? I enjoy my work. But I can honestly say that it pains me I spend more time investing in what will be, even at its most successful, temporary instead of in eternal.

My heart’s desire for this blog post, regardless of whether it ever finds an audience, is to serve as my vehicle for righting that wrong. Although I can’t presently throw in the towel with regard to doing work for my clients and their associated business ventures. Our family budget won’t allow for it. But I can at least attempt to share what the Lord shows me through the vehicle He has given me…the ability to share my thoughts through the written word. I pray He will speak His own Word through me and that His Kingdom will be glorified in the telling.