Going Up…


Going Up…

For as much trouble as I tend to have with John the evangelist as a writer (for heaven’s sake, man, use a period once in awhile!) I will grant him this much: he knew how to write an elevator pitch. And really, that’s pretty forward-thinking considering passenger elevators weren’t really a thing until the 1850s. (Yes, I looked that up.)

An elevator pitch is a persuasive, concise explanation that provides a solid idea of a person, business, product, or service (or practically anything else) within a short space of time – about the length of the average elevator ride. It’s an opportunity to share a quick summary and it is intended to pique the hearer’s interest so that they want to hear more, and encourages them to come back to foster a longer-lasting connection down the road.

Given that a study conducted by Microsoft in 2015 found that the average person has an attention span of around eight seconds, the ability to deliver a solid elevator pitch does offer us a certain amount of expedient appeal. Explanations of our Christian faith can very quickly become long and complicated, and oftentimes we disciples, ourselves, have trouble articulating it. So, the art of the elevator pitch comes in handy from time to time. John’s Gospel from this weekend sums it up neatly in the time it takes to ride up one floor from the ground:

“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

(*Ding*) “1st floor: Perfumery, stationery, and leather goods, wigs and haberdashery, kitchenware and salvation. Going up… “

It doesn’t get into a whole lot of detail, but it’s a decent summary. And I like to think that when folks get off the elevator at the first floor, having heard just enough to get their attention, the Holy Spirit follows them around like a secret shopper, dropping subtle and casual hints out loud to no one in particular. (Gasp!) “My heavens, would you look at the price on this?! It’s FREE!”

After awhile, the frequent shoppers become fairly familiar with the merchandise and the guarantee. And eventually, some decide it’s worthwhile to ride up another floor or two. John offers them another elevator pitch on the way up. Vocations, after all, are part of the package deal. “Those who do what is true come to the light so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God “(John 3:21).

When people ask me why I have chosen my particular path in life, why I work in Catholic Education, why I do what I do, it’s hard to articulate my vocation before the average attention span runs out. (Including my own.) Even John’s concise little explanations seem to be a bit too much to process between floors.

So, I try to focus my elevator pitch a bit more. “God loves me and sent his Son to prove it. I love his Son, and have dedicated my life to proving it. I am a disciple who makes disciples.”

That’s not a bad sales pitch, in my humble opinion. And if I sound and appear credible enough, I may well convince people to ride up an extra floor or two with me to hear more.

(*Ding*) “2nd floor: travel goods, materials, callings and vocations. Going up…”

By Darcie Lich