The ministry of drinking coffee.
Last year, I began reading about a new ministry model. Rather than sit in the office and wait for people to come to you, do your work in a coffee shop. At first, I thought it was just a gimmick for guys to sit around and drink coffee that their favorite spot. Then I really started thinking about it. Was there really merit to this idea? Would it work in my small town? Do people really feel more comfortable meeting in a coffee shop than my office (it’s not THAT messy! Well, it could use a good dusting if I’m being honest)?
So, I began to give it a try as I studied for a class I would be teaching in Africa. Before I went to the coffee shop, I posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram when and where I was going to be…and waited for everyone to pull up a chair next to me. No one showed up. I tried again and still no one showed up. I kept at it and then it hit me, I may not have people who are intentionally coming to meet me at the shop, but I was talking to a lot of people that I wouldn’t have otherwise engaged with.
In our town, people like their personal needs kept within the confines of the church office, but lots of people I know buy coffee or get a snack at the various coffee shops. I would have 3-4 conversations with people every time I went. Some of them turned into ministry situations that worked because I was in a coffee shop rather than my office. I have developed casual relationships with some of the workers, I see friends, church members, preschool families and make an occasional new friend as I continue working this idea.
It’s about being intentional. I have only had a couple intentional conversations with someone who saw my posts and came to meet me. However, I am intentional in being where the people are and that has led to intentional conversations about life and faith. If you look at the ministry of Jesus, how many times did he intentionally put himself into a place to have the needed conversation? Would most of those people stopped by his office? Would they have scheduled an appointment? Probably not, but since he was where they were, those important conversations happened.
Think about that as you live your life for Christ. Do you intentionally make yourself available or do you hide in your safe spot? There were days when I REALLY, REALLY, didn’t want to follow through on the posting of the time and place I had done earlier, but by being intentional I was there for God to use and that’s what I am called to do.
Some days, I just get a bunch of reading and work done without distraction of the office. Other days I am blessed with visiting with friends who stop by the shop. And, still other days I see the God Moment that showed up at the same coffee shop as me that day.