There is a case of a sister who works in a clothing company. By asking people to follow and provide thumbs-up on its activity pages, the company which often holds activities can achieve the effect of “popularity explosion”. Therefore, employees are required to ask their relatives and friends to view the pages and follow, to create a scene of a “grand event”.
This sister immediately thought of her church circle of friends and posted information about the mall’s activities to the WeChat group, asking our congregation to help. As a result, within a day, the number of followers of the company’s activities (not only the followers of the church, but also the circle of friends of other employees) shot up, and the unsuspecting netizens followed suit, thus improving the company’s performance for the month.
This made this sister receive praise and a generous bonus, which she was very satisfied with. So every now and then, she would share all kinds of activities in the church's WeChat group and ask believers to follow and give thumbs-up. In addition to the company’s activities, there are also her boss's family affairs. For example, when her boss’s daughter participated in the activity of “most beautiful baby”, she (our aforementioned sister in Christ) also asked our sisters and brothers to help forward it. And a relative of the boss, in order to support a star, also asked this sister to help, because they found out that this sister has a lot of connections and can do a lot of things.
The practice of this sister naturally aroused strong dissatisfaction among members of the group, who thought that the main function of the group is Bible reading, communication, and intercession, rather than a place for some people to sell their products. This is to use the church relationship for their own benefit or the benefit of the company. But this sister did not listen to anyone’s persuasion, and eventually fell out with many members. Eventually, she had to leave the WeChat group, and no longer goes to the church meeting.
This sister’s approach is indeed way too much. If in the beginning she occasionally asked Christians to help her out with work needs, the help would have been given out of love, and she would have kept her job. But then she went even further by posting more information to the group, thereby worsening the relationship between her and her brethren. It also reminds us not to use church groups as a place for sales.
According to the Bible, Jesus became very angry when he saw the Jews doing business in the temple and defrauding devout people of their money. He drove the people out and cleaned the temple. This is a reminder to us that we must make a distinction between God’s things and Mammon’s things. We should not confuse these two. It is better not to do sales work in the church.
Of course, some believers are forced to forward commercial messages for reasons of livelihood. Faced with this situation, we can help them as appropriate, because this is a way to show love. It is also appropriate to help brothers and sisters since the economy has not yet fully recovered from the pandemic. However, you have to make it clear to the body that you are forwarding to; if you do not really need it that urgently, you should not send it out. And for the forwarding person, he or she also cannot use this to show off, to avoid making people feel like they are being used; constantly asking people to forward more information gives them the impression that they are caught in a dilemma.
- Translated by Nicolas Cao