About a month ago, I presented the subject on the importance of getting uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel. This week, I'm going to share an example of how we in CoMission do just that.
COVID-19 might have hindered us from doing group events on the college campus but thanks the ingenuity of our part-time staff member, Re'Lynn, we were able to practice one of our "favorite" outreach discomforts last Friday night at a park in downtown St. Pete. This activity is called Question For a Coke.
Question For a Coke is literally what we say it is. We ask passerby if we can ask them a question or two and in exchange for their answer, they get a free soda (Coke of course) or water. The questions we ask come in various formations such as, "Do you believe there's a God?" or "Do you have any spiritual/religious beliefs?" Depending on the person's response, we ask if (s)he would be willing to answer a few more questions in hopes to get an invaluable conversation going. If the person is willing, some further questions to ask could be "Were you raised with any certain beliefs?" or "Do you think religion/spirituality is important?" All these questions are intended to strike up friendly conversations about a person's story with the hope of then being able to share our story and ultimately God's story and based on how a conversation goes, there could be potential for exchanging contact information and setting up future meetings.
One aspect of this activity we believe to be important is to let the other person talk without interruption. While the ideal and ultimate goal is to lead unbelievers to Christ, that's not always going to happen, but especially not if we behave with arrogance, abrasiveness and/or narrow-mindedness. Gregory Koukl said it best in his book, Tactics: "Instead of trying to get to the cross in every encounter, just aim to put a stone in someone's shoe. Try to give the person something to think about. Be content to plant a thought or an idea that might later flourish under God's sovereign care. Be a good gardener, then trust the Lord to bring in the harvest in his proper time" (51).
I'm going to be real for a minute. I don't put much effort into even trying to be a better gardener, let alone a good one. Why? Because like everyone else, I hate getting out of my comfort zone. Even when I have people to push me and hold me accountable, I most often tend to push back. I went to Question For a Coke knowing that was way out of my comfort zone, not just because sharing the gospel can be uncomfortable but because talking to random people in general is uncomfortable. It was honestly a waste of time because even though I was physically present, I left the event knowing that wasn't enough because I didn't try even once to go beyond that. I was stubborn, fearful, and worse, disobedient to God. And let me tell you, there's no worse feeling than knowing you've been disobedient to your Father by depriving the lost of His good news.
Lord willing, one of these days, I'll allow His grace and power to change my heart in this way.
“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:16-18
I serve on staff as both Receptionist and Administrative Assistant for Gulf Coast Community Church and as Executive/Administrative Assistant for CoMission, the church's college outreach ministry. My role in CoMission specifically, includes bookkeeping, calendar oversight, document editing and of course, my favorite part: writing this blog. My hope for this blog is to help you get a feel for what the heartbeat of CoMission is about as I share various content on the topics of discipleship, evangelism, college outreach strategies, and everything in between. I'll even share an occasional update on the current events of CoMission as we strive to raise and equip disciples for the sake of the Gospel on the USFSP campus. May you be well informed and encouraged with every post. To Him be the glory.