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Learning to Live Your Faith Boldly

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“Your circle needs to get bigger!” Share meals with people who don’t think how you think or look how you look. This is how we live the gospel. 

Our most recent guest on the Ask About My Faith podcast, restaurateur Brian Ingram, shares his incredible testimony and the powerful ways he’s learned to live the gospel in his community. 

Brian Ingram was raised in a church that made him feel like he wasn’t good enough and would burn in hell forever. This experience left a lasting impression on him, leading him to rebel against faith and everything it had represented for most of his life. He lived a less-than-biblical life for years, making decision after decision that ultimately led to him losing his business, his family, and his wife. 

When he was at his lowest point, his children, and their unwavering faith in God, ultimately led him to the Lord. He found a church that welcomed his broken self and loved him despite his flaws. Since then, he has allowed his faith to permeate all aspects of his life. 

In 2019, Brian and his wife, Sarah, decided to open Hope Breakfast Bar in St. Paul, Minnesota. They started it with a desire to give back. Their company, Purpose Restaurants, has six restaurants with more opening very soon. Each restaurant openly displays God’s love and generosity. Their non-profit, Give Hope, has donated over 500,000 free meals and 2 million pounds of food and has gifted over $775,000 in relief grants to local families in need. 

Learning to Live Your Faith Without Offense

It can be challenging to share our faith in the workplace. We are restricted by the company, the law, and even people’s personal biases. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to share your faith. 

Brian and Sarah integrate their faith into all of their restaurants and businesses, even those that aren’t overtly Christian. They do this by displaying the gospel through their actions and values rather than preaching it at every opportunity. Their acts of love and generosity lead to curiosity and questions, and those questions open the door to genuine faith conversations.  

Related Podcast: Check out our conversation with Lo Miller

Living Your Faith Generously Will Lead to Conversations

Hope Breakfast Bar had only been open a few months when the pandemic hit. They’d tasted some success, but they were far from being a success. Instead of getting discouraged, they decided to switch things up. 

They saw that the people needed food, so they decided to shut down their restaurant and dedicate the kitchen to providing food for kids and families in need. The need was great, and they were willing. 

They didn’t have much to offer themselves, but they weren’t alone. Vans and semi-trucks would show up, brimming with food for donation. When those provisions dried up, new ones would pop up. People just seemed to want to be a part of their work. People gave money; if they couldn’t, they gave their time. 

The work they did went beyond meeting a basic need. It hit the hearts of everyone that both served and was served. It leads to countless heart-to-heart conversations and prayers. It opened doors that otherwise would remain closed. 

Generosity leads to curiosity, and curiosity leads to open and honest faith conversations. And remember, “If there’s not a cost for you, then it’s not being generous.” 

Related Post: 5 Simple Ways to Share God’s Love to Others

Let Your Faith Speak for Itself

Brian has personally experienced a radical transformation. The man he was a decade ago is completely different than the man he is today. His dear friend, Angelo, has seen that transformation firsthand. 

Angelo isn’t on quite the same path as Brian, but their friendship has remained strong through all of life’s ups and downs. And, seeing how Brian’s life has changed these past few years has led to open and honest conversations about Brian’s faith. 

If you’ve seen a radical transformation in someone, then you are going to ask questions. You are going to be curious. They see you doing something that appears radical to them, like giving away food when you are also struggling to put food on the table. It seems crazy to them but feels natural for you, and that makes them want to know what’s different about you.  

We are all human, and humans are flawed. We are all broken, in need of God’s repair. When we are open and honest about our own shortcomings, it just makes God’s work in us more apparent. 

Advice on Learning to Live Your Faith Boldly

Brian’s approach to ministry is simple, so it’s no surprise that his advice to our listeners is relatively straightforward. 

Live boldly. 

In other words, let God’s love and generosity flow freely through your actions. People will notice the difference, and their curiosity will open the door to more conversation. 

Live your faith by loving people. 

Open up your social circle to people who look, think, and live differently than you. Then, love them for who they are without judgment. You might be surprised how many doors will open with a simple act of kindness or moment of genuine love. 

Trust it and try it. 

In other words, if you have an idea, go for it and then trust that God will move. If you want to leave prayer request cards out at your place of work, try it and then trust God to do His thing. 

Brian’s testimony and faith has inspired us! We encourage you to figure out how living your faith boldly looks in your life. What can you do to live a loving and generous life that authentically represents God’s heart to those in your expanding circle?

Related Podcast: Check out our conversation with Scott Pyle