Have you ever heard of an elevator speech? It’s a slang term that describes a speech that could be delivered in the time it takes to ride an elevator, 20-60 seconds. In business or politics your elevator speech is an in-person commercial on what you do—a new product or service you offer, a project or investment you’re committed to, a charity you’re fundraising for, etc… The most effective elevator speech does all of the following: it demonstrates your passion, it makes them care about the same thing, it leaves them wanting more, and it provides them an easy way to connect, get more information or join; and, all of that should happen in under 60 seconds!
This sounded intriguing to me, so I wrote a speech… “I’m a Christian! I follow Jesus and try to follow the Bible, because every time I don’t do what it says I should do, or I do what it says I shouldn’t, things go wrong. Lies always get found out. Being mean makes my own life harder, and whenever I lose my temper, or joke around I get in trouble or someone get’s their feelings hurt–usually both! I finally realized that there is far too much evidence in the world, in the lives of other Christians and in my own life to deny that God is real, that the Bible is true, that Jesus really loves me, and that I should love other people. Life with God is good—even when it’s not! Maybe you can relate, maybe not? But if you ever have questions or want to talk some more ask me anytime, I love to talk about this.”
Peter tells us to “always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have” (1 Peter 3:15). Perhaps Peter would have told us to have an elevator speech ready—if he knew what an elevator was? The elevator speech is an example of a first step you can take with a stranger or an acquaintance. It might seem a little forward—it is! But you have to remember, someone’s eternity might be at issue. A little forwardness has never killed anyone that I know of, but sometimes it has opened a door or planted a seed that could reap a harvest 30, 60, or even 100 times more than what was planted (see Matthew 13:8, Mark 4:20 or Luke 8:8). So, when someone asks, “what do you do?” or, “what’s your passion?” or, “what are your goals?” that is your invitation to be a little forward, because your answer could impact eternity!