The workplace has changed. These days, people try to get to work as early as possible to beat traffic. They skip coffee breaks. They eat lunch at their desk. They rush out at the end of the day to beat rush hour traffic and then pick up their children. How does coffee, dinner, gospel work in this environment?
Try this. Around 10:00 a.m., offer to do a coffee run—your treat. (Remember, hospitality is costly!) As you hand your coworkers their coffee, they will have to talk to you. This is where you make small talk. Then offer to do a lunch run—again, your treat! Now as you hand your coworkers their lunch, they’re going to have to talk to you again—this time for a bit longer. This is where you can ask them how they’re doing.
Hospitality takes creativity and sacrifice, but the conversation opportunities it creates are worth the effort.
It Really Works
In my ministry with City Bible Forum, I often get asked to give evangelistic talks in a variety of settings. A few years ago, City Bible Forum invited me to give a series of talks at lunchtime in a city pub. The organizers had gone to a lot of effort to promote the event. They told the Christian workers to invite their work friends to come along and hear my talks. It should’ve been an easy invitation. The venue was great. The talk titles were catchy. But the numbers were disappointing. You could have swung an elephant in that pub and not hit anyone.
So the organizers decided to add the secret sauce of evangelism. They asked the Christian attendees to do coffee, dinner, gospel with their non-Christian work friends and then invite them to the next City Bible Forum event.
It worked. Two years later, City Bible Forum invited me to give a breakfast talk at a café in that same city. This time, the venue was packed. It was standing room only. I had to stand on a bar stool to be seen and heard. And easily one-third of the crowd were non-Christians, happy to come to breakfast and hear a Christian speaker talk about Jesus.
I asked the organizers what they thought the difference was between this event and the previous one two years earlier. They replied, “Coffee, dinner, gospel.”
Chan, Sam, and Ed Stetzer. 2020. How to Talk about Jesus (without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Check out our Bible Study on Sam Chan’s book How to Talk About Jesus. It is on Amazon as well as part of the Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.