These days we seem to wait in line for just about everything. Just in the past week, I’ve found myself waiting in line to buy gas, to buy food, to pay tolls, and even to get my car washed. In fact, since I’ve moved to California , I’ve spent so much time waiting in lines that I’ve had plenty of time to think of some ways to share Christ and strengthen my own faith as I wait. Here are a few examples of things you might try the next time you find yourself waiting in one of those long lines.
THE GAS LINE − This type of line lends itself particularly well to a tract ministry. The gas line often contains blocks of restless drivers sitting in their overheated, under gassed cars. There isn’t much that a person sitting in a gas line can do besides listen to the radio or watch the traffic pass. What a marvelous opportunity to get out of your car and offer tracts to the people waiting in line! Not only will it give you something to do, but those frustrated, bored drivers will usually take a tract just to have something to read. If the line you are in is of standard length, you will have plenty of time to distribute tracts before you need to move your car. A word of caution, though-do not leave your keys in the car when you are out of it.
An excellent tract for you to use is our broadside, "You Don’t Have to Wait in Line," available from Jews for Jesus for $1.15 per hundred, which includes postage and handling. ( California residents please add 6 ¢ tax.)
THE SUPERMARKET LINE ä?This line readily lends itself to one-to-one dialogue and witnessing. Try an approach like this the next time you are in one of those slow-moving checkout lines: Turn to the next person in line and say, "Isn’t it wonderful that God doesn’t make us wait in line to get into heaven?" Once the person recovers from the initial shock, you’ll find that this question may result in many fruitful conversations about the Lord. Don’t be surprised sometimes the person next to you will turn out to be a Christian. Be prepared for a time of good fellowship and perhaps the beginning of a new friendship.
THE BANK LINE ä? A good time to utilize this line is when the person in front of you wants $1000 cash in one-dollar bills. When this occurs, try memorizing Scripture. You can take a few moments at home to write down a few Bible verses on 3" by 5" cards. Simply carry them with you in your pocket or purse and review them as you wait in line. This same technique can be used in long Post Office lines. But be careful not to accidentally mail your 3" by 5" cards!
THE RESTAURANT LINE ä? The last time I was in one of these lines, I was told to expect a 45-minute wait. I ended up waiting an hour and a half! That’s plenty of time to begin that favorite Christian book you’ve been longing to read. Some good books to read in line are Christ in the Passover and Kidnapped for My Faith . Be prepared, though, for someone to ask you what you are reading. This could very well lead to an opportunity to witness. Of course, another word of caution is needed. Some books, such as Kidnapped For My Faith , are very hard to put down once you’ve started them. Be careful not to become so engrossed that you don’t hear your name called for a seat.
CONCERT or SPORTS LINE ä? Here you can employ a combination of the above techniques. Hand out broadsides, strike up a conversation, memorize Scripture, or read a favorite Christian book. If you step out of line to hand out tracts, though, do make sure that someone is holding your place!
THE PHONE LINE ä? It seems that a substantial part of our lives is spent on "hold." This time need not be wasted − it is an excellent time to open your Bible and read the Word of God or to pray for people. When your party comes on the line, he or she will probably apologize for keeping you on "hold" so long. Then you can say, "Oh, I didn’t mind at all. I spent the time talking to God and hearing from Him. It’s wonderful to know that God never puts anyone on ‘hold,’ and He’s always ready to hear from His children, night or day."
These are some suggestions for logistics for lingering in lines. Try a few of these ideas, or perhaps you can come up with some ideas of your own. If you discover a new way of waiting on the Lord while you are waiting in line, we’d like to hear from you.