Starbucks Ministry

One of the difficult things that I am dealing with right now is the loss of my ministry. For the past 10 years my children have attended the same Christian school, and for the last 6 of those years I have been teaching at that school. When the Lord began telling me to pull away, one of my first questions was “Why? Have I not been doing what You have called me to do? Have I screwed it up? Did I squander the talents you put in my care?”

It’s hard to walk away from a job you love, and even harder when that job involves the joy of ministering to others. Now I am left wondering what my personal ministry is going to be for this season in my life.

I know that part of my noble journey is to continually seek His direction in that area. I do believe that He has some things in the works, but this morning He reminded me that we can be active in ministry anywhere we go.

As I sit at Starbucks this morning writing, I have my bible open. (I’ve been reading from 2 Corinthians, ch. 2 this morning, about forgiveness) As I’m reading/writing, a gentleman sits down in the chair next to me and asks if I’m studying.

“Yes, I am,” I answer.

“The Bible?” he asks.

“Yes, sir.”

He smiles and nods. “The best book in the world.”

He then proceeds to tell me  how many times he has read the Bible all the way through, and how amazed he is at how each time he opens it to read, he learns something new. I start to comment on my own experiences with that, but then his cell phone rings and our moment is interrupted.

It reminded me of a book I read a couple years ago…amazing book and I will post the title when I remember it.  Anyway, this pastor was writing about the need for the church to change the way it approaches the unsaved. He does some very unconventional things in his church, but one of the things that I remember the most is how he goes about writing his sermon each week.

Instead of sitting in his church office, he relocates to Starbucks for the day. He finds a centrally-located table, spreads out his Bible and study/writing materials, and then proceeds to spend the day working on his Sunday sermon.

He is interrupted many, many times by customers and employees alike who casually ask what he is doing.

Sha-zaam!

He always takes a few minutes to explain what he is doing, introduces himself as the pastor of such-and-such church, and asks the inquirer if they are a believer. His recountings of some of the subsequent exchanges is fascinating. At times, he has found himself encouraged by fellow Christians, but at other times he is practically accosted by angry or mocking nonbelievers.

He says it is one of his most productive times of ministry.

(Sorry, but have to take a break here to tell you how disappointed I am to see that there was a subject-verb agreement error in the previous paragraph…I fixed it, but ah, the horror!)

Anyway, his story is encouraging to me right now because while I believe that my first and most important ministry is my family, I also believe that the Lord calls each one of us to some type of outreach ministry that extends beyond our personal circle. That ministry could be something as simple as preparing meals for families in need, or it could be as complicated as selling everything you own and moving to Africa.

Hmm….now that’s a thought.

So, while I sit at Starbucks waiting for thenobledaughter’s summer class to end, sitting here each morning because it is cheaper to have a cup of coffee than it is to drive all the way home and back in 2 hours, I need to have my eyes and ears open.

Perhaps someone sitting nearby is going to ask me what I’m reading, and perhaps they really, really need to hear just what it says.

“If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-if there was anything to forgive-I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” 2 Cor. 2:10-11