So, it’s no secret that I love Panera Bread.
Well, I’m not quite sure exactly why.
Yes, I do like their food. Yes, I do like their environments. Yes, I do like the free wi-fi. When I drank pop, I loved the ever-flowing source of pop! (By the way my southern friends, pop is what we call ‘soda’ up here in the north! Hah).
Maybe it’s because Panera has always been a place of peace for me or maybe it’s because in the times when I haven’t had anywhere else to go to work, Panera has always been there.
But, the past 8-12 months, I’ve viewed Panera way differently.
I’ve always made relationships with the fine people who work at Panera. But for some reason, I really believe God has put some of relationships that I’ve made this past year on my heart. In a big way!
The funny thing is…every single person I know that works at the Panera in my town know I’m a pastor. They know I started a church, they talk with me about it, ask how its going and seem generally interested.
But, not one person has checked out Thrive yet. Honestly, its starting to mess with me a little. Now, with some, I have asked more, some less and one person that I know of, I asked too soon.
Some have a church home…but they never attend, some are crazy turned off to the idea of church and some are remotely open.
But, I pray like crazy for each of them.
So, I will keep asking. It may not be every day, every week…but, maybe once a month.
In the meantime…I’m just going to be there for them. I’m going to continue building relationships and be ready if the Holy Spirit speaks to me and gives me green light to invite and to tell someone about Jesus.