The Salesman Pastor

Pastors are faced with many pressures and temptations. One of those is to build a monument to self rather than investing in the salvation and spiritual development of people. Riley masterfully tells a story that I think everyone should read, pastor or not. The lessons apply across the board as many of us battle with the same root issue.



Pete was a car salesman for many years. He learned from his father all the ways to rope people in, how to make something old and beat-up look desirable and affordable, and how to paste on a friendly trustworthy smile. The result, people liked Pete, no one felt like they were buying junk but that they were truly getting a good deal. In their eyes Pete was their friend, he was on their side and would do anything to help his customers out.

Strange as it may seem, one of his customers actually did become his friend. Pete was drawn to something in this man that he did not possess, if only he knew what that was. This man soon invited Pete to church, his church happened to be the largest one in town, a megachurch that Pete had often marveled at on his way to work. Pete sat open-mouthed…

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4 thoughts on “The Salesman Pastor

  1. Ahhh,sweet story! Thanks for linking to it. Not all salesmen are bad of course,they often provide a vital service and have some integrity. Well, some of them do anyway! But I do love word origins, the root meanings of words. And so both “manipulation” and “salesmenship” are rooted in the world “pharmakeia,” also the very same word used in the bible to describe witchcraft. We often imagine Disney and women in pointy hats, but it actually it just means to bypass someone’s will, to lead them astray unwittingly, to seduce them into a set of beliefs through manipulation.

  2. hmmm, there is a lot of this I have noticed. I am trying to be careful but kind at the moment, always allowing room for benefit of the doubt over ignorance. Can’t wait to learn more about it in my new semester!

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