Referrals are important

by pastortimfowler

Thursday mornings are an early start for me. I have to come to the church at 6:30am to open up for a business group of about 25 people who has been using our church to meet for years now. The main purpose of their meeting is to give referrals to help each other’s businesses. Most of them are in small companies or own their own business, but there are a few who work for large corporations.
They meet each Thursday morning for about an hour. Every morning they give a short introduction of who they are and what they do and what kind of referrals would help their business. I use to think that telling someone what kind of referral you would prefer was like saying you would only accept $20 bills and not anything other money. But what they are doing is telling those who they have teamed up with in this group what and who and how to best make their company a success. They don’t waste time with giving unproductive leads and they truly help each other become more successful.
Here is an incomplete list of the type businesses that are in this group. Banker, exterminator, plumber, roofer, cosmetic sales, lawyer, HVAC, janitorial. As you can see they are quite diverse. An it would be silly to give the roofer a referral who does not roof work or the lawyer a referral for someone who needs lipstick. But when the roofer is out and about doing what he does and he works for someone who needs a lawyer, he gives that name to the lawyer and now the lawyer is not working a cold call, but someone who knows a mutual friend.
This got me thinking about how inefficient the church is in what we are doing. Christians are told by Christ to go into the whole world and share the message of forgiveness and salvation. It is so much easier to do if we know someone and have something in common with that person. For some reason we tend to shy away from this task and I believe that there are a couple of reasons and this could help us all.
First of all, the business people in this group have a vested interest in what they are doing. Christians tend to think of their salvation as an insurance policy against immoral living. If we were to begin to understand that heaven is the beginning of the rest of our lives and that we will be in a position of responsibility in eternity, and that what we do now effects that position, then maybe we would take it more serious. In other words, our success doing what we are told on this side of eternity is directly proportionate to our responsibility on the other side of eternity. So we need to take serious our command to share the Gospel.
In my church we have a diverse group of people. I could probably name all the type people who are part of the business group I mentioned earlier. But we also have people who have overcome or are overcoming most any problem in life. Some have overcome drugs, alcohol, abuse, divorce, bullying, pride and much more. Who better to tell you about what Jesus can do for you than someone who has been there and done that? So why don’t we share “referrals” with each other when it comes to following the command to tell everyone about Christ?
If we were to take more time know each other and our backgrounds and how God has help others, then we would feel more comfortable having our church friend talk to our friends and families. If you have never struggled with drug addiction it is hard to speak in confidence about how God can help. So why not pass that referral to some who has that experience? We should spend some time each week at church getting to know the people we worship with; what they do, how they have overcome struggles with God’s help. Then we can have a ready list of whom to give good referrals to.
The bottom line is making the Kingdom of God grow through sharing what Christ did for us. If we share referrals of those who need help, and someone is better suited to do that, everyone benefits. We are doing what God wants us to do, someone who has overcome a struggle gets to directly help someone do the same, and ultimately God is glorified.
If you know that referrals are important to a business, why can that work in the church. Referrals are important!

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