As Christians, we have Good News to tell! Formerly known as the Evangelism Committee, the Good News Team invites the Virlina District into a discussion around sharing our stories about evangelism. Between now and District Conference, we will be publishing a new story each week, or thereabouts. Written by members of the Good News Team, the stories recount experiences of when the members told or showed the Good News to others. Evangelism is not just about asking a person about his or her faith. It’s not just about going door to door inviting people to come to church. The Good News of Jesus is told through our words and actions, and its impact is often unseen and unknown by those who share it.
Do you have a story to share? Would you like more information about evangelism, or do you have questions for us? We invite you to check out our exhibit at this year’s District Conference!
Title: Breakfast at McDonald’s
Author: Hal Sonafrank
The young server brought our breakfast order to our table at the local McDonalds. When she placed our tray on the table, Sandi and I said together, “Thank you,” to which she responded with a forced smile and went on her way back to the counter area.
Sandi, with her discerning spirit, leaned over to me and simply said that the young woman had something deep going on inside of her.
The next day we returned to McDonalds and was served by the same young woman again. This time when she placed the tray on the table, we not only said, “Thank you,” but “Have a great day,” as well. This time she managed a little bigger smile. It was our hope that our friendliness would speak to her as an example of our faith.
As time went on, she became our regular server and her responses to us became friendlier and her smiles continually broadened. It wasn’t long before she initiated conversations about her family and some of the concerns she had about her children and her own personal life. We simply listened to her and shared that God had something special in mind for her and we would keep her in our prayers. Each day we said something encouraging to her and expressed our appreciation for her friendship.
The time was close to Christmas and she mentioned that she didn’t have many decorations for her Christmas tree. A light went on in Sandi’s head. We had just packed a large box of decorations we were not planning to use that year. The next day, with the box of decorations in her hand, Sandi presented them to the young woman who then gave us a look of appreciation and immediately gave Sandi a hug, and stated that no one had ever given her anything like that before. We simply stated that the decorations were hers and there was no need to return them but to enjoy them for years to come. Her hug immediately turned to tears of thanks.
Other employees began to observe the changes that were taking place in our new friend’s life and we found others beginning to come to our table periodically and sharing about their lives. Sandi had a special taste for caramel flavored, with chocolate added, ice coffee. At first the ones taking orders, including our special friend, would ask the manager to make the coffee because of the unusual request. Once, though, when the employees got the hang of making the coffee they would willingly volunteer to make it and personally serve it to Sandi so they could have an excuse to come to the table and talk to her. It was interesting to watch them reach out to us with their kindness and acknowledge God in their lives. Some would share about their career plans, what they hoped to achieve in school, how God had opened doors for them - to which we always tried to pass on a word of encouragement. We noticed more and more how several of the employees would acknowledge how God was working in their lives and how one young girl was now participating in the local Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Many received scriptural council and we could see their faith grow right in front of us.
Evangelism in this setting was not difficult but a natural expression of concern, encouragement and sharing God’s love. We don’t get back to that McDonalds much anymore, but when we pass through that area we make it a point to stop by and are received with smiling faces, greetings and many thanks for encouraging them in their walk with the Lord.
God doesn’t place you somewhere by coincidence, but He has a plan for you. Simply be who you are where he plants you and you will be amazed how He works. There is no need for long dissertations or sermons, but instead have a listening ear, a discerning spirit and words of encouragement, then watch God work.