Two Girls I Met at Panera Bread

I have a new favorite question to use when sharing with someone about Jesus. Here is how I found it.
I was filling my little glass with water at Panera the other day when I noticed a girl behind me in line. Her multiple piercings made me feel compassion for her. I said, “hi”.
She said, “hi”.
I asked, “So…are you enjoying your Christmas break?”
“Yeah…” she said, “I’m just hanging out with my friend and we decided to come here”.
“That’s nice. This is a good place to come,” I responded.
She sat down with her friend and I sat down with my family.

After a few minutes I grabbed my notebook from my purse and went over to their table.
“Hello again,” I said, “I don’t want to interrupt or disturb you guys but I’m doing a little survey and I was wondering if you would be willing to take it?”
“Sure” they responded happily.
I sat down with them and said “I don’t normally do this at restaurants but I thought you wouldn’t mind.”
They smiled.
I said, “The first question is ‘Do you consider yourself to be a good person?’”
They answered, “Yes”.
“Alright,” I said, “Question two is: ‘How many of the 10 Commandments can you name?’”
They got about 5 of them and I told them the rest.
“If God judged you by the 10 Commandments would you be innocent or guilty?” I asked.
“Guilty” they replied with no hesitation.
“So” I continued, “if you died today and stood before God, do you think he would let you into heaven?”
“Uh…no…probably not….well… maybe…yeah…I think so…because I try to be good.”
“Ok” I said, “well does it concern you that there’s a possibility God might not let you into Heaven?”
“Yeah, it concerns me a little I guess.”
“There is a way to be completely sure you are going to Heaven” I responded, hoping they would ask what it was. They didn’t act interested.
I was tempted to just make a little speech about the gospel and then leave but I remembered a quote I really like by Mark Cahill: “Sharing the gospel should be a conversation not a presentation.” So, I decided to ask another question. I wasn’t quite sure what to ask, but then it came to me.
I said, “Let me ask one more question: Who do you think Jesus Christ was?” (I should have said “is”. I don’t know why I said “was”.)
“Uh… God’s Son??? Some great person who lived along time ago? That’s about all I know. I’m not really religious,” one of them answered.
“Ok, well, you know that he died on the cross—” I continued.
“Yeah, we know that.”
“Most people in America do,” I said, “But most people don’t really understand why. He died for our sin so that we could go to Heaven. He was the last person that deserved to die because he was perfect but He did it for us.”
They didn’t quite know what to say. Since they were eating lunch and I didn’t want to take more of their time I left but gave them each a little red pamphlet called, “The Credentials of Jesus Christ”, (written by my dad). I told them that it was something our family had put together and that we’ve handed out a lot of them this Christmas.
They began flipping through it and I went back to my table.

After sharing the story and asking for prayer for them at our church’s Wednesday night prayer meeting, I was reminded by my grandma that even if a conversation seems “unsuccessful”, it may have made more impact then we think. I also learned from that conversation that the question, “Who do you think Jesus Christ is?” is an excellent question to use if you want to get into a good conversation with someone. It leads right to the core of the gospel! I decided that I like it better then the question, “Would you like to know how to be sure you are going to Heaven?” because the question doesn’t point at them, it points at Jesus, the Savior. I’d encourage you to ask that question to someone this week! And don’t forget to share with people not only about the purpose of His death, but also that he is the only one who ever rose from the dead. Because of this fact, we see that Jesus is more than a leader; He’s a Savior. No other religion has a savior, they just have leaders – and they are all dead. Buda, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, etc. are dead. Jesus is alive!

3 thoughts on “Two Girls I Met at Panera Bread

  1. Hey Grace,
    Thank you for the idea! I think we will share it with our Bright Lights group and perhaps give them a challenge to do that!
    God bless!

  2. Wow Grace, thanks SO much for that encouragment! God wants me to be more productive in His kingdom like that, and such stories/ideas are just what I’ve been needing lately. The survey “excuse” is such a good idea! 🙂

  3. That’s great Grace, what you wrote is very encouraging to me and I’ll be sure to try out your new question.
    I think I’ll also share this with our Bright Lights group.
    God Bless.

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