My family and I recently went to dinner at one of our new favorite sushi restaurants here in the St. Louis area. While we were waiting on our food to arrive to the table, I observed an interaction between the restaurant host and a man wanting to place a to-go order. It went something like this:
Host: Welcome to [restaurant name], how can I help you?
Man: I’d like to place an order for carryout, please. (Takes a menu, thumbs through it awkwardly). Young man, I seem to have left my glasses at home and am having trouble finding what I’m looking for. Could you please help me?
Host: Of course! What exactly were you looking for?
Man: I’m interested in getting some ahi tuna and a spicy shrimp roll, but I can’t seem to find them on the menu.
Host: I’d be happy to help you with that. (Awkwardly fumbles through the menu for 2-3 minutes as an increasingly perplexed look creeps across his face) I’m sorry, I can’t seem to find those things on our menu, either.
Man: (Obviously frustrated at this point, mutters something under his breath) Well, thanks anyway. I guess I’ll try some other place. (Walks out of restaurant)
I’ll be honest, I was dumbfounded. I could not believe that the host let that man walk out of the restaurant. I also couldn’t believe that the host had no clue what was on the menu at the restaurant, either. After all, he is the first person you come in contact with upon walking in the door–and he doesn’t know what’s on the menu?
His title said he represented the restaurant. His position said he represented the restaurant. Even the logo on his shirt said he represented the restaurant. But his knowledge claimed otherwise. He had no clue, and he ended up representing the restaurant poorly and, ultimately, failed at his job.
What if we represented Jesus the same way that this host represented his restaurant? There are going to be people who are spiritually blind to what they are truly looking for, and if we aren’t prepared to help them they will simply move on to the next place looking for answers. You and I have to be ready to minister to others whenever we are given the opportunity, and we cannot afford to fail. Here’s a few ways we can do that:
- Know what’s on the menu. We have to stay in tune with God and his Word. This requires that we spend time reading/studying the Bible everyday, spending regular time in prayer, and prioritizing both personal and corporate worship.
- Be ready to act. You never know when God may open the door for you to minister. Whenever that happens, take advantage and make the most of it. This could be something as simple as being a listening ear for someone, buying a meal or a tank of gas, or helping a neighbor move some furniture. Whatever the task, jump in, get involved and sow a seed of the gospel into someone’s life.
- Admit when you don’t know something, but don’t let it stop there. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know something, but find someone who does know. Don’t just leave someone else hanging–if at all possible, find a someone who can help answer their question or meet their need.
What would you add to the list? Is there anything you can think of that will help prepare us to minister to others when given the opportunity?