The first time I signed up to host a table, I went to a meeting and heard our founder, Bill Leonard, share his vision: “One day, people outside the Atlanta technology community will see our differentiator, what sets us apart from every other community, is the light of Christ shining forth.”
Quite honestly, I was uncomfortable with it. What did I get myself into here? This vision was too big, and the mission was too hard.
But I stayed. I signed up to be a table host.
As I left that meeting, I was pumped. I was convinced I was doing the right thing for God. By the time I got to my car, I wasn’t so sure.
I was told to only invite people I knew did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And don’t invite them via email. Invite them face to face. After all, you do have a relationship with these people.
I felt all alone and poorly equipped.
I was an infant Christian having started my relationship with Jesus just one month prior to this meeting. And now I was supposed to invite people like I knew what I was doing.
When I don’t know what I am doing, I go to Jesus in prayer. I asked him, “Who should I ask?” The names started popping into my head. They were my closest friends.
They said, “Yes.” Every one of them. I think they were in a state of shock. “Charlie is asking me to attend a prayer breakfast?”
The day of the breakfast quickly arrived. After greeting my guests, we sat down and the program began. I sat with my head down. I couldn’t look at my friends. The speakers told their stories. They talked about Jesus ...a lot.
Then there was the call to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. The breakfast ended, and each of my friends thanked me for the opportunity.
They really enjoyed it.
What followed was amazing. I can’t tell you how many conversations about Jesus, faith and religion we had while on golf trips or out to dinner or at parties. Some attended my Bible studies, and most of them came to know Jesus as their Savior.
That is the power of the breakfast.
Agreeing to be a table host the first time brought me to five places I’d never been before.
1. Brought me closer to Christ
People talk about figuring out which friends to invite and say if they can fill a table, they will host a table. That’s backwards. You have to trust God.
2. Brought me out from under my desk
When you ask your coworkers to a breakfast, they know you are a Christian. You are now marked.
3. Brought me into the body of Christ
The friendships which developed by being on mission for God together is akin to being in the Marine Corp. Brothers for life.
4. Brought my friends into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ
Some I have asked to the breakfast received Christ there. But over the last 20 years, others came to know Christ through weekly Grace@Work Bible study groups.
5. Brought me into Jesus leadership
I have a very well known VC in town who calls me the Pope. Wherever we are, whatever meeting we are in, he calls me the Pope publicly. This leads to a discussion about my faith.
Look at all the places God will take you.
This is why God has you right here, right now. He wants you to join him in leading the event He created to reach our community for Jesus Christ.
Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. Twice each week email subscribers to his blog receive his thoughts on being a successful entrepreneur and Christian leader.