Ok, so, we ALL see them, hear them, use them, or even are a part of them these days!!! What am I talking about? MLMs, multi-level marketing companies. Y’all know ’em! You are, have friends, or at least know of a direct sales rep or two. Young Living, Doterra, AVON, Mary Kay, Lime Light, Sensey, Norwax, LLR, Younique Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Amway, and SOOOOO many others!!! Now, all these companies have a major common ground….up lines and down lines.
You have the people over you who have been in the company longer than you and who you go to for help, advice, and everything concerning the product and/or company, these people are your up lines. These folks are generally equipped with more knowledge about said product or MLM, wisdom from use and experience, and even sometimes more of the actual product the MLM has to offer. They are often your best tools for success on your new MLM business….and let’s just be honest….we ALL want to succeed in what we apply ourselves to…RIGHT!? If you have a solid up line you feel as if you can conquer ANYTHING that comes your way with your business, any question, and product, if you don’t know SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE in your up line WILL know! When you have a good, solid, and reliable team, you have support 24/7 365 days a year (366 on a leap year…lol…ijs) you never worry about success in the company because SOMEONE is always there, even if all you need is an ear or encouragement…they are there.
Once we are more confident in our knowledge and abilities within our MLM we start to find and “recruit” people into our business and this is how you get your down lines. These folks are the ones under you, the ones who come to YOU for all the same advice and wisdom you get from your up line. More often than not, we must seek the guidance of our up lines to help our down lines. In your business you have an obligation to teach, guide, mold, help, and, support your down line. If you don’t do this your business will never grow to its full potential. When we neglect our down line our business will NOT thrive. They will most likely get upset and frustrated with us and either leave or just not do as well as they could, which in turn, affects your business. And in the worst cases the ones that leave may even be so upset that they begin to tell others not to buy from you or that you don’t know your product or any number of things that will detour others from approaching you because you did not show them anything different. And this too will gravely affect your business in the long run. We put our time, and attention on, and pour into what is important to us. And lets just be honest, who wants their business to do poorly, or even worse, fail!? NO ONE! So we make sure to put all our effort into our down line so they can succeed, which causes us and our businesses to succeed as well.
By now you may be asking, ok, so what does this have to do with the body of Christ exactly? That’s actually really simple, MLMs call it up and down lines, but the church calls it discipleship. We have what we often refer to as “elders”, or “the old guard” within the body. We also have the 5-fold ministry, these are our pastors, teachers, apostles, evangelists, and prophets. This would be like our up line. We go to these people when we are having trouble in our lives. We look to them for guidance and advice. We look to them to learn more about The Word, and our walk with Christ. They are often our models on how to life a Christ centered, set apart life. We ask these people for help when we get stuck, or when we are just wanting some more knowledge on something. When we feel like we have hit a hard place or are stagnant in our walk we seek out these people. Our walk depends on having healthy relationships with our spiritual up lines.
Then we think back to (or maybe for some this is you right now) when we first started our walk and we had our first REAL encounter with Holy Spirit. When we were/are on fire for God, we share Him with others. We tell them all about our new freedoms and joys! We be begin to disciple others and teach them about Christ. When we are in this season of our walk we begin to disciple others, or, begin to build our spiritual down lines. As we learn, we share with others our new found revelations and help them to learn and understand as well. We say things like, “Do you know my Father?” or “Have you heard about my Jesus?” We even begin to share our story of how we came to know Him to give a better picture. “You know, I was there once. The only thing that could help me was My God. Let me tell you a bit about that.” Or, “Let me tell you how The Lord saved me and ‘fixed’ my mess!” Just as our businesses can’t succeed properly without properly nurturing our down lines, our walk struggles when we are not obedient to Christ by spreading The Gospel and making disciples. In our businesses, we tell everyone everywhere we go, “Oh, you have something an issue, I have a (your product here) that can help you with that.” So why is it so easy to do that, but so hard to say “You have a problem? Well, you know, My Savior would love to help you with that?”
So, in closing, I am in NO WAY saying that MLMs are bad! I LOVE my ladies (and men) that are direct sales marketers! They are usually super encouraging, and insightful and always have a way to help when I have a need. Rather, what I am saying is that we should follow their examples and look at our walk in the same way we do our businesses. We should strengthen our walk by going to those The Lord has placed in our lives as our spiritual up lines when in need instead of going to social media, Oprah, Dr Phil, or everywhere else in the world. I mean think about it…would you go to a Norwax lady and ask for advice about your Tupperware business if she had never sold or used a single piece of Tupperware? No! Of course not! Why, cause she wouldn’t have the answers, knowledge, or wisdom you need to succeed in Tupperware. In the same aspect we also need to be building our walk up by creating our spiritual down line. When we encourage others it encourages us. Direct sales, no matter the brand, is a community all of its own, they love on and share wisdom with each other. They support each other and help each other out. They have enough faith in what they are doing/selling to not be shaken when they sell Doterra and their friend sells Young Living. No, they just rejoice in the fact that their friend is beginning to make similar changes in their life for the better by getting into oils, and building a business for themselves. They (if they are a good friend) even share advice with their friend that has helped them take off and soar. So, let’s think of this as if each brand or product were a different denomination of the church! You wouldn’t get mad (generally) when your heathen cousin gives their life to Christ and starts to get involved in the Methodist church just because you’re a reformed Calvinist. Instead you are flooded with love and joy of The Lord in your heart because they have finally found Christ and are there for them to answer any questions and support and encourage them in any way you can to help strengthen their walk.
Anyways, I know this was a long one, but I just really feel like if the body got together as a community the way these MLM/direst sales reps did we would be unstoppable! Thank you for letting me share what God has placed in my heart. May The Lord bless you and keep you in all you do!