The Ministry of Small Talk

When I was younger I worked for Best Buy selling TV’s. I really didn’t enjoy that job at all, but one of the perks was the break room. In the break room they had these big comfy couches and a 60” TV with every movie channel under the sun. I would enjoy taking my fifteen minute break, lounging on the couch and catching a few minutes of a movie. (I have seen only 15 minutes of so many movies.)

A year or so after I started working at Best Buy, there was a guy hired on who was named Jason. He was a few years older than me and he seemed like he was a pretty nice guy. One day, I went to take my fifteen minute break and Jason was sitting down in the break room. The first thing I noticed was that the TV wasn’t on, which was very strange. The second thing that I noticed was that Jason was sitting at one of the tables, facing the TV, but he was reading his Bible. When I walked in, he didn’t look up or acknowledge me at all. I proceeded to sit down and turn the TV on, hoping to catch fifteen minutes of a random movie. As soon as I turned on the TV, Jason made an audible sigh of annoyance and then rotated his chair away from the TV screen. Two things then became clear to me. One, Jason was the one who turned off the TV. Two, I am pretty sure Jason was angry with me for interrupting his Bible reading.

I came up with two theories to explain this scenario, although I am not sure which one is accurate. One guess is that Jason could care less about evangelism, coworkers, or anyone for that matter. His main concern is reading his Bible. The other idea I had was that this was Jason’s workplace evangelism strategy. He though that by openly reading his Bible while on break at work, he could maybe spark a conversation. I am still unsure about which one was Jason’s intended goal, all I know is that it had a very negative effect on me. I immediately felt judged, condemned and not worth his attention. I did find it impressive that he had the guts to read his Bible on break, but he was making everyone else feel like a nuisance while he read. I cringe when I think about how many of my coworkers, who were unbelievers, walked in to the same scenario on different days!

I wonder how much more effectively he could have spent his fifteen minute break. Imagine if instead of shutting people out and keeping to himself with his bible, he took time to talk to people. What if instead he spent time building relationships and getting to know his coworkers?

Just some thoughts… What do you guys think?

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Still figuring it all out. Anxious to learn more.

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