Burrito Evangelism (for the non-vegetarian)

I wrote this article 11 years ago for a newsletter for my 20’s singles group. A lot has changed since then. I’m married, I have two kids, and perhaps most significantly, I am a converted (and devout) burrito eater…

My co-worker is a missionary for the Hot Shoppe Gourmet Burrito restaurant in Walnut Creek. I first noticed her conversion while she was handing out menus around the office. Before long, she was going through the menus item by item with those who expressed interest in learning more. It seemed like she mentioned the place to me every day. I promised her that I would go someday (probably just to get her off my back). But I never did.

Now I’ve always been something of an agnostic when it comes to burritos. I’ve never cared much for Mexican food so the thought of trying yet another Mexican restaurant didn’t hold a lot of interest for me. I guess I’ve always looked at all burritos as being on the same level; merely different methods by which to reach the same destination… a sort of burrito universalism.

But my friend would be the first to tell you that all burritos are not the same. In fact, once you’ve tried a Hot Shoppe Gourmet Burrito, you’ll realize that you’ve found the real thing. You’ll never go back to Taco Bell again. They serve a fraud, an imposter; an apostate burrito.

I, of course, found great amusement in her enthusiasm for this place. But I began to wonder, why would she care what I thought about her restaurant? How does what I eat have any impact on her? And I realized it really comes down to three things: 1) she honestly believes that this restaurant is the best at what they do, 2) she believes that I might benefit from her sharing that belief with me, and 3) she cares enough about me to tell me.

And I began to see something about my relationship with God that should have been so obvious. God wants me to share His Word and His Truth with other people! I don’t believe that God has called all of us to stand on the street corners with megaphones to proclaim His Word. (I certainly don’t believe that He’s called me to stand on a street corner with a megaphone.) But I do believe that He has called all of us to proclaim His word to those around us. That’s really what evangelism is all about. God uses our proclamation of His Truth as a means for drawing people to Him.

Evangelism should flow out of who we are – sinners saved by the Grace of God. Paul says in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” We often focus on the last part of that verse, but Paul is also saying something very important about life. Jesus is central. He is our life. Christianity is not just something we do. It’s who we are. And being an effective evangelist means letting people know what Jesus has done for you.

Our job is not to win converts. God does that. We just need to let people see God through us. We need to tell our friends and our family whay He means to us. It doesn’t always work out the way we want. They don’t always become Christians. But at least they have seen who Christ is.

You know, I still haven’t been to the Hot Shoppe Gourmet Burrito restaurant. And, to be honest with you, I probably never will go. But I know it’s there. I guess I’m just a burrito pagan.

It’s amazing the changes God will work in the lives of people. Hope you enjoyed some of my (distant) past thoughts.

soli Deo gloria

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