When sharing the gospel with people who are on the clock is discussed, concern about keeping them from honoring their employers time is often included, as it should be. Employees are servants of their employers and should serve them with the full amount of time they are on the job (Colossians 3:22-25). Does that mean we cannot invite them to know the saving message of Jesus while they are on the job? I don’t think so. I believe it is possible to share Jesus’ invitation to come to Him, learn of Him and find rest for one’s soul whith someone on the clock and still promote honor to their employer. How? Brevity.
Those who know me may find it difficult to think that I even known the meaning of the word brevity and you would be right! I value brevity in spirit, but my speech is usually far from it. Everyone can grow though and I do try and work on brevity – getting to the point in as few words as necessary. Because I do not tend to be brief when speaking, I try to take extra caution when speaking to those at work, but I try not to shy away from sharing some sort of invitation to know God.
Last Sunday, August 24th 2014, Fred Flory and Sheila Sanchez of the Anaheim assembly and I returned to Denny’s to follow up on a waitress we had spoken about the Lord to a month earlier. While dinning for lunch there, we addressed our waiter after about his third visit to the table, when he was presenting us our bill. We said something like, “I’ve got something I’d like to share with you. We are Christians and like to encourage people to know the Lord. Are you a believer?” Our waiter David answered in the afirmative telling us that he prays and goes to church when he can. To which we answered something about encouraging people to study the Bible. We offered him a We Care New Testament and my personal card with contact information on it. He recieved it graciously and showed us a religious card another customer had shared with him a little earlier. He left us and went about serving other customers.
Being concientious about how his employer may have viewed the time he spent talking to us, probably three or four minutes, and realizing the manager was sitting in the booth just behind us, I got up and addressed the manager. I asked him if he minded us taking up a little extra of his employees time with conversation about the Lord. He lightheartidly said that we should be asking the Lord if it was ok rather than Him. He then said that he did not mind and that his employees have to start somewhere to know the Lord. Wow, right! What an answer. He also suggested that our late lunch, 1:30PM made it an even better time to speak with them, since things slow down there after the lunch hour. As we spoke, the manager, Jesus (Spanish), shared his faith in God and personal religious practices with me. Another of his employees, Benjamin, sitting with him and joined in the conversation. Benjamin revealed that he was a Sunday School teacher. During the conversation, Jesus even mentioned likeing the Bible study invitation sign we had on the table the last time we were there. We did not have it this visit.
Though we discussed several Biblical ideas and mentioned a handful of scripture texts, we did not turn to any, which I usually try to do. Both Jesus and Benjamin showed interest in the We Care Bible’s we had, so we gave one to each of them with some explanation on how to use the built in study.
We got to see and briefly greet the waitress, Yazmin, who we originally went to the resturaunt to see, but did not get a chance to have any further interchange with her.
We left a tip card with a tip and personal message for David before leaving.
The hope is that we can revisit Denny’s periodically to follow up on the invitations and Bibles we passed out to the employees and manager. Our goals will be to confirm gospel obedience and encourage deeper knowledge of God’s will. Hopefully initiating personal Bible study with them.
Your prayers are appreciated!
On a final note. I mentioned above that Jesus said our timming for lunch and discussion with employees was good – after the Sunday lunch rush. This causes me reflection on how most of the brethren I have been associated with over the years, when going out for Sunday lunch, often hurry to beat the crowds to the restraunt. I wonder if we might have more influence for the Lord on the staff if we intentionally got to the resteraunt later rather than earlier.
“And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the Kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.” Luke 13:29,30
Who can you influence to know God where you go? What can you do to honor their time while making the most of the opportunity for their souls?