Steve Easterbrook is a man in search of an opportunity.
As CEO of McDonalds, Easterbrook recently opened a “walk-and-go” location in downtown London. This McDonalds is a simple storefront--only the golden arches are mounted outside. Step within and it’s just as bare: a small room with self-serve screens. The idea is to order and pay at the screens and then step sideways to a window where your food will be prepared.
At a drive-through you can dine in your car, but at this urban walk-up you’ll find yourself turning in a circle. There are no tables, no chairs, nowhere to eat. It’s just the order screens and the window.
Obviously, Easterbrook’s idea allows McDonalds to serve customers quickly in metropolitan areas at a fraction of the cost. Business Insider's Caroline Frost ate her to-go meal at a nearby churchyard. She said, “[The church] might find this spot getting a bit busier in the next few weeks.”
See the opportunity? McChristians!
Easterbrook wants you out, but the church wants you in. These walk-and-go McDonalds are an opportunity for churches to create picnic areas on their grounds. The possibilities for ministry to an eating audience are plentiful -- Christian music, screens with inspirational scripture, a listening ministry. Listening is a gift for many wearied souls. A sign could read, “Step inside for the remainder of your lunch break and we’ll listen.” Christians could easily be trained in this ministry and then offer a closing prayer with the person in need. Thank you, McDonalds!
Having said that, if you’ve ever heard Steve Easterbrook speak, he earns his $20 million. This brilliant Brit, who lives near company headquarters in Illinois, is all inclusive. He stays on middle ground. I can pretty much assure you, Easterbrook never anticipated his new opportunity might save souls for Christ.
But such opportunities are everywhere and always have been. When the Apostle Paul and Silas enter Philippi, a large city in present-day Greece, they’re beaten and thrown into jail. At midnight, fellow prisoners hear the two praying and singing hymns. It’s then that a massive earthquake strikes, shaking the jail so badly that locked doors swing open and every prisoners’ fetters are unfastened.
Paul’s jailer awakens and draws his sword to take his life. Losing prisoners was bad news in a Roman colony.
“We’re all here!” Paul shouts to him.
Trembling, the jailer calls for lights, rushes in, and falls at Paul’s feet.
“What must I do to be saved?” the jailer asks.
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” Paul and Silas then teach the jailer and his family about Jesus. (Acts 16:11-34)
Look at that scene. In the worst of circumstances, wounded and imprisoned, Paul brought the Light of Jesus to those around him---the other prisoners and then the jailer. Paul tells Christians how this is possible: “The Spirit intercedes…with sighs too deep for words.” “[I rely] not on worldly wisdom, but on God’s grace.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 8:26, 2 Corinthians 1:12, Philippians 4:13, Romans 12:2)
When we belong to Christ, our lives should be different than the lives of those without the Lord. What we do is our testimony. Do you ever wonder why you fail Jesus? Perhaps the answer is simple---are you going it alone?
Paul constantly renewed his strength with prayer, praise, meditation, and Scripture. Do the same. We aren’t a light apart from Christ. It’s Jesus who shines through us—changing everything we say and do, all the choices we make. This is our testimony.
Tonight as you pray, go over your day. Were there opportunities? Did you find yourself angry or tired and still offer the Light of Christ? Did you share scripture with a discouraged soul? Did you listen when an ear was needed, offering to pray before you left that person? If not, why not? Take this to the Lord in prayer.
Easterbrook isn’t the only man in search of an opportunity. The lost need the Lord, and doors crack open every day, everywhere.
Copyright © 2019 R.A. Mathews The Rev. Mathews is an attorney, faith columnist, and the author of “Reaching to God.” She can be reached at letters@RAMathews.com