Restaurant Opens Its Doors To Bible Study
The opportunities that are open to the Church today are endless! Are we willing to accept the opportunities that God sends to us or are we waiting for the doors we design to open?
Too often we set in our mind that this is the direction we are going, and nothing will move us from that line of thinking. We can all agree that there are times that line of thinking is necessary. But most of the time, we need the understanding that these bumps in the road may be God opening a different door for us.
Only in eternity will it be revealed the open doors that we passed by. There are countless souls praying for us to become so sensitive to God that we hear His voice to the point that we would understand when a door is open and when it is closed. We have to be like Ananias in Acts chapter 9 who heard from God but had to become absolutely willing to do whatever God would ask of him.
We all have heard testimonies about people praying that God would send someone. One such testimony is that of Pastor Ron Libby in Maryland. This man and his wife were praying for God to send someone to them. Thank God there was a man that was listening to the voice of God. Pastor Chester Wright went to their home and found two people smoking dope and reading their Bible. This diamond in the rough was Ron Libby and his wife. Thank you, Pastor Wright, for not being judgmental and for being sensitive to God. For that reason, there is a great work in Maryland that has influence around the world. We have heard countless times where someone has testified about former General Superintendent Steve Wilson of Potts Camp, Mississippi going to different homes over and over again. In many cases the families would later come to God. This was because an individual was sensitive enough to God to do what He asked.
Just a few short weeks ago I asked a Hispanic brother, Byron Diaz, in our church in Mishawaka, Indiana to translate a paper from English to Spanish. It was paperwork we wanted to use to search for potential leaders in our church. Our church is bilingual, and we needed this paperwork to ensure we would be reaching every potential leader in our church. I called him as soon as I had left another meeting to tell him I was on my way to his home to work on that paper. He told me he was going out to eat, and I could meet him at the restaurant. I could have gotten very angry and told him to forget it and to just do it another day. We do not like to discuss church business in a public place. But I felt like it would be fine, and I went.
As we talked over the information and I helped him set the format on his computer for the paperwork, the waiter came over to ask us what we were working on. Of course he asked it in his language, Spanish! We told him we were working on paperwork for our church. He immediately began to talk about God and different churches. He had some opinions and questions he wanted to share with us.
I told everyone not to make any corrections about what he said. Later the following week, my wife and I asked another couple to go with us to have supper at the same restaurant. Of course it was another brother and sister that were bilingual. Again, we had the same waiter. Again, we got into a conversation about God. As we salted his tongue, we offered our services in sharing a Bible study with him. He responded very quickly, “Si, Si, Muchas Gracias! Muchas Gracias!”
Since he was so excited, I knew I could not wait or he would ask someone else. I was very excited that we were going to be sharing the Word of God with him. I asked him where he would like to meet, his home, our home or maybe the church. He asked if I would just come to the restaurant.
I told him we would gladly come there. I am not yet fluent in the Spanish language. As a matter of fact, I am just starting to learn the language. When I teach the Bible study, I have someone translate it into Spanish. Anyone that is in the restaurant will hear me say it in English. Then they hear it translated into Spanish. Because of this, the Word of God is going forth in both languages in this restaurant.
We have been there for about four weeks now, and I asked some folks at the church to come with me to have supper at the restaurant. I just felt like taking some people over to be a blessing to the owner because he had opened his doors to this Bible study. When we all walked in, they thought we were there to teach the study. We told them we had come just to eat dinner. They could not give us enough food or attention. We had a great time of fellowship!
Now we have the owner sitting in on the Bible study. He had been hurt by some Christians many years ago but is now willing to give us a chance. God is reaching for every Christian that is willing to be sensitive enough to reach for this lost world. Even if you have taught your congregation how to have a Bible study, you have new people coming into the church that may not have been through those classes. Sometimes it only takes one to get the fire burning. That spark of enthusiasm will make the flame of outreach burn brighter and hotter then ever before.
In the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke we are commanded to teach all nations. In John we are told to feed the sheep. There is a hungry world out there waiting for someone to come to them. Take this gospel message beyond the four walls of your church building. It is time for the church, the called-out ones, to mobilize in your community, taking advantage of every opened door.
Enjoy the harvest.
This article “Restaurant Opens It’s Doors to Bible Study” by Randy Tahyi is excerpted from ApostolicWitness Magazine, July 2008.