Today I used an idea that I nicked from the 1st year light team students based in Chester. Naughty me.

Two week’s ago as part of their class room study they were set a task by their lecturer Cyd Philips, to let people in Chester city centre know something about the Christian faith. They did a good job, I must admit, and chose to buy as much sliced bread and butter for £30 they could possibly get and offer it to people as a free gift. In doing so, when people asked what they were doing they spoke about their faith and how they thought Jesus was the best thing since sliced bread! 

I thought I could develop it a little bit more and take the central theme of ‘best thing since sliced bread’ and add a ‘and before sliced bread’ angle and also look at Jesus being the ‘bread of life’ which I based this from John 6.

The free bread worked well, yet I don’t think I was as busy as the light team in Chester were, I had a steady flow of people, unlike the Chester crew. In Peterborough we didn’t really have queue’s at any time. On the cards that I gave out I had ‘Jesus, the best things since…’ Now, most people who have been brought up in England pre- 80’s would get what this meant. Today half the people my volunteers and I spoke to were from Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Pakistan, India, Sudan, Nigeria and China etc etc… ‘Best thing since sliced bread’ just doesn’t translate all-together well into Chinese or Czeck. Nor does it mean much to people under 25 I soon discovered. So, over half the people I met today whom I sought to ‘connect’ the good news of Jesus with just didn’t get the connection! ‘Best thing since sliced bread’ seems to be a phrase that is dwindling to describe something really good-Doh!  Yet, despite the trying a bit too much ‘clever marketing’ the offer of something free  just worked well, as did the explanation of a ‘man who once said that he was the bread of life.’

This is my experience on quite a regular basis though. people seem to appreciate the free gift or symbol of the message, and are often very happy to ask questions while tucking into a free muffin or apple or slice of bread smothered with Nuttela.

I was very encouraged by some people who commented on the ‘way’ the message was communicated. ‘Relaxed,’ some one man, ‘ you allow people to ask for more information, I like it,’ said a lady who stopped in the middle of doing her shopping.

The atmosphere was light-hearted too. Unlike around the corner where a zealous young lady had also taken to the streets to share Jesus. A friend of mine asked if I would go and ‘have a word’ as she was shouting about Jesus rather angrily. This was in contrast to the cheerful shouts ringing from the bread stall of ‘get your free bread here!’

One thought on “Best thing since…

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