Tuesday, January 31, 2017
The Power of the Free Sample
13 years ago, when I was working in the fire alarm business, I was walking through a mall after finishing a job in a department store, when I was approached by a Chinese girl holding something on a toothpick. “You like free sample?” I accepted that morsel of orange chicken, and it was the best Chinese food I had ever tasted in my life. That was my first time ever trying food from Panda Express, and I’ve been eating there ever since.
I later became the pastor of a church and held soul-winning events all over America. At these events, we all met for lunch at Panda Express. Little did that young lady know, she was making thousands of dollars for her company with that one free sample.
Sometimes people will look at how many CDs, DVDs, and flash drives our church gives out and question whether we are spending too much money on those items. They are underestimating the power of the free sample. Businesses give out free samples all the time with great results. We aren’t trying to make a profit, but we ARE trying to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
People often get interested in Bible preaching after first hearing it at home. Many of them start coming to church as a result. In the early days of our church when only a handful of people were meeting in my living room, I made some preaching CD’s, which I displayed on a rack. I wasn’t sure that anyone would want them, and they sat there untouched for a while, even though I announced that they were free. One day, a church member named Amanda took a bunch of the CD’s home to give to her mom. The next Sunday, Amanda’s mom was in church with her.
One flash drive loaded with 25 or 26 hours of preaching could result in a chain of events that could change someone’s life. Wouldn’t you say that toothpick with the orange chicken was a pretty good investment? It may have taken me years to try Panda Express on my own, but instead they came to me.
There is definitely a spiritual application with the Panda Express story. We aren’t trying to make money, but we ARE trying to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. We don’t just wait for people to come to us—we go to them. We give people the gospel at their door, and we also give out free samples.
When someone gets saved at one of our door-to-door soul winning marathons or if we come across someone who is already saved, we give them a sermon flash drive. Once people start listening to biblical preaching, they often get under conviction about the fact that they are not attending a local church, or perhaps they realize that they need to change churches. Also, we hope that people will pass our materials on to their unsaved friends and family members who might receive Christ after hearing the salvation messages.
I know of many people who have gotten saved after someone gave them one of our documentaries. Countless people are now attending independent fundamental Baptist churches across the country as a result of hearing my preaching on church attendance. Many of these people are now soul winning themselves every single week. Handing out preaching samples works and will continue to be one of the most important financial investments we make.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8
Here is the sermon on “The Financial Philosophy of FWBC.”