I recently had a series of chicken-related firsts. I made my first visit to a Chick-fil-A restaurant (how did I get this old without having done that!?!) and I bought the first spicy guacamole chicken club sold at the Wendy's on Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City. I thought the second one would be a bigger deal than it was. No shiny hat, sticker, free meal, or anything. The sandwich was pretty good, though. Anyway, it's the Chick-fil-A visit that I was so impressed by. Maybe not everyone knows that Chick-fil-A is run by a Christian owner and is closed on Sunday's because of it. What impressed me was the service which I would like to think is also influenced by the Christian principles of the owner. I should mention that my visit was with 9 high-school and middle-school students from our church and one other adult. We, the adults, were significantly outnumbered but we prevailed in the end! Back to lunch. The server was extremely courteous and handled our 11-part order in stride with the help of one other employee filling drinks. After paying and having the kids find a seat (actually, several seats) our server asked if I needed any sauces. From my deer-in-the-headlights look, she immediately ascertained that I was completely incapable of answering that question for 10 other humans (I'm giving our teenagers the benefit of the doubt!) and I didn't even know what my options were. She started to list the choices but then had a brilliant idea. She handed me one packet of each of the sauces and instructed me to come back and tell her what I needed more of. This was worthy of comment all by itself but it's when I came back that the really cool thing happened.
In a group that size, naturally, I got rid of most of the sauces on the first go-round with requests for more of specific varieties. One of the ones I took back, however, was the Chick-fil-A sauce. When our original server saw it she asked, "Have you ever tried our Chick-fil-A sauce? It is a mixture of honey mustard and bar-b-q sauce, it's pretty amazing." Quick side note: if you are at a new place and an employee recommends something, try it! It won't hurt you and why would you miss out on their best deal? Back to the story, I took the sauce and tried it myself. After a few passes with my waffle fries I turned around to the boys and enthusiastically invited them to give it a try. This resulted in several of them going to get packets of the Chick-fil-A sauce for themselves
The last detail of the story is that our group was in the midst of attending a youth evangelism training conference. (Dare2Share for those who might be interested. If you are involved with Christian teenagers, get them together and go! Tell them LP sent you. They won't know what or who you're talking about but it'll make me feel important.) This made me think about this story through a new set of lenses. You see, I wasn't interested in the Chick-fil-A sauce. In fact, I only took the original set of sauces for the kids, I didn't want any for myself. The server wasn't selling sauce, giving it away actually reduces their profit margin, she was simply convinced that it should be tried. She wasn't pushy but she clearly believed in the quality of the sauce - if people try the sauce, they'll like it. After giving it a try, I not only liked it but caused others who I had influence over to give it a try and they liked it. A little Chick-fil-A evangelism.
You see, when I know people who are not Christians I get pretty afraid of telling them about Jesus. All kinds of excuses: "They aren't interested," "He will ridicule me for liking Jesus," "She doesn't want to hear about it." Maybe the problem isn't them, it's me. Maybe the real problem is that I don't believe that what I call good news (Jesus loves me and died for me) is really all that good. You see, I could have turned down the sauce. The server would have gone about the rest of her day without any wounds. At most she might have had some pity, "Poor guy didn't even give it a try. Mistake." Confidence in what she had makes the difference.
I understand the dangers of likening Jesus to a product. I am not selling Jesus but I am supposed to spread the love. If I was more convinced that meeting Jesus is the best thing to ever happen to me, I just might be more confident of telling others about Him. Here's the real kicker, the more I know Jesus the more excited I am. If I am not convinced of His goodness and greatness, it's because I don't know Him that well (ouch!).
You fall in one of two camps. If you're in a relationship with Jesus (what we usually call a Christian) you may feel the same way I do. Get to know Him better. Read the Bible, it's His letter to you. Pray, He wants to talk with you. Spend time with other believers, they have things to tell you and you have things to tell them. If you've never tried to start a relationship with Jesus, let me just say simply, give it some real thought. For a moment, let the walls down and really consider the claims of Jesus. If you want some input from a "subscriber," find me on facebook or google+ or just leave a comment.
Oh, and try the sauce, it's crazy good!