Scroll Top Scroll Top
+123 4567 890
Resolution #8 – Go Out For Dinner!
This one, the eighth of Chuck Lawless’ mission related New Year resolutions, has to be the easiest to carry out, at least for lovers of good food. “I will visit ethnic restaurants in my area to get to know internationals. It’s great to go out to eat, but ask to meet the owners. Talk to your servers to learn about their background. Ask about their faith. Go there regularly, and get to know people in your community who need Jesus. I think you’ll find many people willing to talk.”
Two days ago I had a meal with a friend in a local Singapore restaurant. My friend was from Indonesia originally and I am from the UK. The server was a local Singaporean lady, so that qualifies as cross-cultural! When she brought our food I asked in Chinese if she herself had eaten. Yes, this older lady promptly replied, “otherwise I wouldn’t have the energy to do this work!” Then as we paid the bill, she referred to our conversation again. At that point the restaurant wasn’t busy, so I carried on the conversation and asked her if she’d ever been to church. “Oh yes”, she replied, “I am a sixth generation Christian”, which I guessed correctly would be from Fujian province in China originally. As we left I urged her to remember that God doesn’t have any grandchildren, He only has first generation related children! I parted with “God bless you”, a comment which is more defined in Chinese perhaps than in English!
There are countless opportunities in almost every country to eat at restaurants run by foreign internationals in our generation. My fourth daughter at one point lived in London near what I would describe as a classic fish and chip shop. Needing a quick meal one night, I dropped in there for a pretty unhealthy British take-away meal. The owner was actually a Cypriot. Falling into conversation with him while I waited, I was struck by his observation that his fish and chip business had dropped by 75% from what it used to be a number of years ago. He knew why. When he started, for many Brits fish and chips was the majority or even only choice. Now there is Chinese, Indian of multiple varieties, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Middle Eastern, Italian and a multitude of other choices.
There is very little excuse not to respond to Chuck Lawless’ eighth resolution (unless it is financial constraints).
Allow me to suggest several guidelines.
1. Be sensitive. Sometimes staff will be too busy to engage in conversation. Respect that. Choose times when they are less busy if you can. Don’t force a conversation on someone who doesn’t have the time to talk.
2. Most people are very happy to talk about themselves! Where they come from, what kind of families they have, even how they’re doing in your country. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the right questions. Be sensitive as to whether to press in gently, or not, when someone seems to be uneasy.
3. Learn to value these “ordinary people”, the servers in a restaurant. In a different context at the funeral of my friend of many years in Singapore, Alec, his daughter shared a powerful fact about her father. The doorman of a big bank in Singapore had once said to her that he smiled at every person who came in but almost all of them ignored him. “But,” said the doorman, “your father not only responded but he even knew my name.” Have that attitude of Alec’s, a successful businessman, towards the hidden “ordinary people”.
In the South Island of New Zealand my wife and I went out with our colleague Murray for a meal before going on to a meeting. Because we were early, the restaurant was almost empty. The server was a young Chinese lady. There was nobody else in the restaurant as we came to pay, so I witnessed to her gently in Chinese. She was, she told us, a believer herself. Then she teared up as she said she was finding it so hard; she couldn’t get a good job. So we all prayed with her right there in the restaurant. A year later almost to the day I was speaking in the North Island of New Zealand. After the service a young lady approached me. My wife recognised her. It was the same young lady and she had found a good job and this was her first visit to that church. I was able to introduce her to the pastor. We may not have many stories like that, I certainly don’t, but it does encourage me that recognising and talking to people of a different culture in our countries or in other countries can have wonderful results.
If you have other advice to share on this subject other than the three suggestions I have given above, or related stories, please feel free to share them in the comments below.
Share this on your socials
Discover More

Similar Resources



Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.