We recently returned from a visit with our son-in-law, daughter, and grandkids in Florida. We enjoyed a lot of site seeing. One other thing we enjoyed was eating out. It is always interesting to compare menus, service, prices, and the quality of the food. I became aware of something on this trip that I had not previously given a lot of thought. Almost as important as the quality of the food is the “presentation.” The presentation is everything from how well the waiter or waitress serves the food, to how it looks on the plate. Often average food seems much better if it is presented well, and timely.
By The Way, a good spiritual comparison could be made as to how we present the Gospel to an unbeliever. Presentation is not everything. The truth of the content of what we present is most important. Paul said in Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
But our presentation is important. Here are some “no-no’s” when it comes to presenting food or presenting the Gospel. (1) Not being sold on what you are trying to recommend. Who would want to order a dish that a waiter or waitress seemed less than enthusiastic about? A strong recommendation from a pleasant server goes a long way in prompting me to order a particular dish. An unenthusiastic witness for Christ is a definite turn off to a lost person.
(2) An unpleasant voice and a disrespectful demeanor are extremely disconcerting. We were in a deli in Saint Augustine, FL, where the delis cook/waiter was loud, and very offensive in his approach. We almost left before our food was delivered. It was not an enjoyable experience. In witnessing for Christ, we must have a humble spirit, and a non-threatening approach. We are not charging Hell; we are sharing the greatest news in the world with someone who is important. They need to see our sincerity and genuine respect.
(3) Not being familiar with the menu creates suspicion in the customer. A waiter or waitress needs to be acquainted with their products. That does not mean, of course, they need to know what the cook or chef knows, nor do they need to be an expert on particular cuisine. But they do need to be able to explain the basics of the menu. A witness for Christ does not need to know the whole Bible, nor do they need to be an expert on doctrine. They do, however, need to have a certainty and a personal knowledge of the message they are sharing.
(4) Finally, the presentation does not end when the food is set on the table. A good waiter or waitress will come back several times to check on the needs of the customer. Presenting the Gospel is not just a one shot approach. When we share the gospel with someone, rarely do they respond with a commitment to Christ the first time. We need to go again and again and build a relationship of love and trust. Our presentation may extend over a long period of time. I do not mean we are to share the same verbal message but we are to share ourselves. What we have to offer becomes more beautiful and meaningful when we give a presentation that is loving, consistent, and over an extended period of time. Oh, sometimes the best waiters and waitresses are new on the job. It is often true that new believers have not learned the bad habits of those who have been Christians for years. Hence they do not have to unlearn some bad presentation habits.
We do have the promise of the Scripture in making our presentation. Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (NIV)
BLOGTHOT: WHEN PRESENTING THE GOSPEL GOD DOES NOT ASK FOR PERFECTION, BUT HE DOES EXPECT PASSION.