The good news doughnut

I’m sick of doughnuts. Really am. You see over the past few weeks, when I've been in towns or cities I have been handing out hundreds of them to members of the public and asking anyone who works with me to do the same. It's not that I developed some strange affiliation or addiction to sugary treats or that I believe in the magical power of deep fried dough.

I'm not even sponsored by Krispy Kreme or trying to live out a Homer Simpson dream. Rather, I’ve had enough of them due to an unusual yet kind gift that I recently received of £50 which carried two stipulations for how I should spend it.

Let me explain what happened. After teaching a course on evangelism and bidding farewell to the group I was thanked rather enthusiastically by a very kind woman who wanted to give me a gift to support my ministry. However the generous gift had two stipulations: Firstly to buy some proper pens for when I teach a group again as the pencils I had available for the activities were plainly hopeless. It's not that I didn't have enough of them, I had hundreds, and all of them light blue or chocolate brown. Useless really. Secondly the rest of the money should be spent on doughnuts. Hence my recent giving away of piles of doughnuts.

You see, if you shop around £50 affords the purchase of 500 of them! I have given doughnuts on Sunday mornings on the street with a prayer of blessing, taken boxes of doughnuts to a group from Albania who run the local car wash and called in various shops to treat the staff with a tasty treat. I've even spent time hanging out with groups of young people as they munched on a free tasty snack and shared school time woes and the problems they have with friends.

Subsequently the unusual gift has meant I and those working with me have met around 500 people and with each free grace gift we have simply shared something of the love of God and his free gift of Jesus. I realise that in stating numbers of people we've met may give the impression that I'm only into numbers as an evangelist, and somehow define success by the amount, but the point is made to reveal something far more significant. You see, so often I meet brothers and sisters who feel that to do some intentional evangelism together out and about in their community requires a healthy budget. But simply sharing something of God's love doesn't have to be an expensive affair.

10p spent on a demonstration of something of the good news is money well spent. How about offering a free gift of a pastry at work, down your street or outside your local shops, simply placed on a tray with some optional napkins? You may find that in so doing as people accept a jam filled doughnut they ask 'why?' and 'what's the catch?' For each person I’ve offered a doughnut to there has been something of the Gospel shared, granted mostly in small ways, but for some they wanted, actually needed to talk and enquire of the greatest free gift of all.

Now, I mustn’t forget to pick up a pack of pens.

Chris Duffett is President elect of the Baptist Union in Great Britain and national evangelist with The Light Project, a group of people who aim to actively demonstrate the Christian message and train others to do the same.