Category Archives: Good News Journal 2010

Please Pray for Me: Evangelism in the Workplace (3 of 4)

The Question: Can you please pray for me?

One night when I was working security at Shopper’s on the graveyard shift, one of the ladies (who knew that I was training to be a pastor) requested of me to pray for her. She said, “Can you please pray for me? Please pray that God will protect me.” She went on to tell me that she prays to God but that she really wants me to pray for her too.

Yes, I will pray for you, BUT . . . 

I am not 100% sure of this, but it really seemed as though she thought I had a link with God that she wanted to tap into. Thus, I told her, “I will pray for you,” and went on to say (in gentleness), something like, “How do you know that God listens to your prayers?” She did not really answer my question but if my memory is correct, I think she went on to talk about how she likes to pray and believes in God. I responded, “The only way that God will listen to you prayers is if you come to Him through Jesus. Jesus is the only way to God.”

She was quite surprised

Coming from a Muslim background, she was quite surprised by such exclusive claims about prayer. We talked about Jesus as the only way to gain God’s ear in prayer. Nevertheless, she did not seem hostile but provoked in thought. I forget how much else was relayed about the Cross of Christ, but she was sincerely thankful that I would pray for her. I thank God for this neat little door that He opened for me to speak of Christ.

Jesus Came for Sinners: Evangelism in the Workplace (2 of 4)

Cosmetics at Shopper’s Drugmart

After my first few days of training as a concierge/security guard for condominiums, I learned that I would be doing two overnight shifts a week at Shopper’s Drugmart. The first two hours of my shift were spent in the cosmetics department. I was to spend my time near the cash, thus, naturally, I would be spending time talking with the worker in the cosmetics section.

 My second night at Shopper’s

On my second night of work, the lady working was quite talkative. We talked about many things, much about security work, for her boyfriend also does night shift security work. Needless to say, I was praying and waiting for opportunity to speak of the things of the Lord.

 Nothing seemed to be happening until . . .

Nothing seemed to be happening. After my first hour, nothing happened. I thought, “Well, I may work with her again. I will be patient.” The next thing I knew, she asked me, “So do you have another job?” I thought, “Well, yes, do I ever!” I replied, “Yes. I am a Christian preacher. I teach the Bible at churches when they need someone to fill in.” This led to a long discussion about her desire to see her grandma when she dies and about a Christian lady from her past who used to take her to Peoples Church (for a brief season).

People either go to heaven or hell

She really wanted to see her grandma when she died and she asked me, “Do you think I will see her when I die?” I told her, “Well, I know that the Bible teaches about life after death. There is judgement and then people either go to heaven or hell. I asked her where she thinks she will go. She told me that she had a very promiscuous past and that she had an abortion many years ago, and she confessed, “that is murder.” Then she said, “so that’s a pretty big [sin].” She was convinced that God would hold the abortion against her.

If you seek Him you will find Him

I was stunned and humbled by her openness and honesty, and by the grace of God I proceeded to tell her the Gospel of God’s grace. I forget how I started but I remember telling her that Christ came for sinners and that no sin is too big for God to forgive. I also told her how God commands her to believe on Christ. I told her to seek Jesus Christ, for in Him forgiveness is found. I remember encouraging her with these words: “If you seek Him, you will find Him.”

Sharing Scripture

During a portion of our conversation, when I started to share Scripture with her, she suddenly got out her pen and began to write down the Scriptures on a piece of paper.  When she grabbed the pen I told her Genesis 3, Romans 3, Romans 5, Mark 1:15 and Ephesians 2:8-9. I thought that would be a sufficient start. A week later I followed up with her I learned that she read at least one passage. However, she was discouraged because she did not understand it. I was unable to really follow up on which passage it was and what it was that she could not understand.

 May the Lord keep Satan from stealing that seed. May He make her heart good soil that she may bear the fruit of genuine faith.

The Authority of Feelings: Evangelism in the Workplace (1 of 4)

My first night of work

My first night of work as a concierge/security guard was not only an evening of training in security, but (by the grace of God) an evening of spreading the Gospel to my supervisor.

So your training to be a pastor?

The guard asked me, “So your training to be a pastor?” I said, “Yes.” He asked, “In what kind of church? I replied, “I do not know, but I would be best suited for a Baptist Church.” He went on to tell me that he grew up in an evangelical church, but that he cannot believe. He expressed to me his frustrations with the church. I let him talk and did not really have much to say, other than, “That’s too bad,” and sometimes, “That’s not biblical.” Of course, I was only hearing one side of the story, but the story is always worth listening to. He talked for quite some time and I did not say much.

I asked him a question

Later on in the evening I was praying for another opportunity to talk to him, not only about the church and God, but about the Gospel of Christ and where how he stands before God. The Lord answered my prayer and we talked for a while! I forget exactly how the conversation started, but I eventually asked him, “Can I tell you what the Gospel is?” He said, “sure.” Praise God! My heart was rejoicing. I went on, starting in Genesis 1-3 and eventually telling him of Christ’s work on our behalf, along with his need to believe the Gospel. If my memory is correct, I believe I used Romans 5 as my main text for explaining the Gospel. Whatever the case, I was sure to tell him that God is commanding him to repent (Acts 17:30).

He responded, “But how can God . . . ?”

He agreed that much of what I was saying was true. However, he told me, “I just can’t believe. How can God, who is in control of all things and knows that man will reject Him and go to hell, go ahead and create the world? I need an answer to that question.” He was also hung up on the issue of election. He was familiar with the biblical doctrine of election and he questioned why God would create the world, knowing that He did not choose many, allowing them to go to hell. He said, “I need answer to that. I need evidence, that’s just the way I am.” Needless to say, we talked for a long time. Indeed, I pulled out my apologetics box and sought to tell him what the Bible teaches on these topics saying, “I do not think that I will necessarily answer your questions in a way that fully satisfies you, but I do know what the Bible teaches about these topics, so I will tell you what the Bible says. Then you will be better able to think through these issues. However, even though I sought to reason with him, I only did so for so long. His questions/objections may actually NOT be what is really holding him back from believing. They might be, but they might not be. It is good for us to be aware of this in our evangelism. One thing I know for sure is that  he needs to be confronted with the Gospel because the Gospel is the power of God to save him (Rom 1:16 and 10:17).

Would God accept you or reject you?

I asked him, “If you were to die today, would God accept you or reject you?
” He said, “I think He would reject me.” I said, “Really? Why?” He replied, “Because of all the bad things I have done; I actually got in trouble with the law and well, trust me, I know he would reject me.” I asked, “Are you concerned about this?” He said that he was. Thus, I proceeded to tell him that Jesus came to save sinners. That is who Jesus came for – people just like him (and me!) – sinners. He seemed somewhat surprised but also deeply encouraged by this truth.

The authority of feelings

As we continued to talk, he told me, “I just can’t believe, it just doesn’t feel right.” I asked, “So, what is it that is making your decision for you?” He said, “I do not know.” I said, “Well, you said it was your feelings.” We were silent, then I continued, “Do you see that your feeling is what is dictating what you do or do not believe?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “That is the difference between you and me. I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and that it can be trusted. I believe the Gospel because it is God’s Word. You do not believe because of your feelings. Your trust your feelings more than the Bible. Your feelings are your god.” He understood what I was saying, and though he seemed somehow sobered and in a contemplative state, he did not show any indication that there was any problem with the authority he was giving to his own feelings. I hope he saw this as a problem. But I do not know. God knows.

Some closing remarks

Sometimes it is helpful to show people that they are making themselves out to be god (by determining what is good and evil, true and not true). In this case, my supervisor’s feelings were the ultimate guide to his belief about the Gospel.  Let God be true and ever man a liar. May the Lord help us not to rely on our own feelings, but on His sure Word.

By the grace of God, He gave me favour with my supervisor throughout the entire month of my work as a concierge/security guard. Who knows how the Lord will use the message of His grace that was spread that night. May God be merciful to him as He has been to me.