Can You Cary On a Decent Conversation

I am old enough to remember when a cup of coffee cost you five cents – that’s right $0.05 – and the cup was bottomless. The refills were free. Like other major earth-shattering events I can remember where I was when the price went up. I had just arrived in Chicago by train from Toronto and somewhere during the overnight train ride coffee had doubled in price to ten cents and I was outraged.

Bought a coffee recently? Well, the price is around $1.65 for a large coffee (no refills) and as high as $6.00 for a speciality coffee with addatives and flavouring. And, across my nation there are numerous chains of shops that sell coffee as their main money maker and they do make money – Starbucks, Tim Horton’s, Second Cup, Robin’s, McDonalds, Java Express just to name a few that I am familiar with.

In fact, when getting an early start and going on the road early in the morning driving to another city – I stop at one of these places to buy “one for the road” and seriously wonder if anyone makes coffee at home anymore. These places are standing room only and the line-ups of people waiting to buy a cup are amazing – even the drive-thru is backed up for blocks (you can’t expect people to get out of their cars, afterall, until they have had that first cup of caffine).

So, day after day people sit in these coffee shops – even the ones that stay open 24 hours a day (I admit – I stop in and have a decaf coffee when arriving back in my home city late from a trip out of town) – and carry on conversations. I have sat many times waiting for my next appointment to arrive and listened to the conversations that go on. Most people simply “pass the time of day” and talk about nothing of any signifigance. They chat about the weather (it is regular and large today), the latest sports brawl or scandal, the political wranglings going on in Ottawa (borning – seriously boring) or in Washington (seriously pointless) …

What if – and I know it is a big “what if” … What if we were to invite our friends and family out for a coffee. Question: does anyone still invite a neighbor “over for a coffee” – you know, invite someone for a coffee in their kitchen? Sorry, I digress! What if we purposely invited people out for a coffee and chatted about something important with them – like share Jesus with them … the night-and-day difference He has made and still continues to make in our lives. Maybe, just maybe, someone will get saved, you know, born again.

Statistics prove this to be true … In a recent “New Christians Survey” – Dr. Gary McIntosh of Talbot School of Theology found that…
59% of new believers surveyed came to Christ through family or friends
47% of new believers were Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964)
40% Gen-X (or Baby Busters – born between the mid-1960’s and the late-1970’s)
17% Builders or seniors (over 60 years of ago

All very interesting. But, the most important statistic – and the one that really grabbed my attention – is that 64% came to faith as a result of a conversation with a believer.

Can you drink coffee? Can you carry on a fairly decent conversation? Are you a born again Christian? Good – welcome to the evangelization of North America. Go for it! Welcome to the wonderful adventure of winning the lost and seeing people birthed into the Kingdom of God.

So, all we need to learn how to do is to politely switch a conversation from talking about things that are really not eternally signifigant (weather, sports, politics, ourselves) to things that are really important and seriously vital. And, folks, that is not really all that difficult. In fact, it can be done within 3 minutes of the conversation beginning. But, that’s for another day and another blog.

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