We started a new coffee shop based worship service this week and I was speaking. This group of people didn’t necessarily agree with me. They didn’t come to hear what me or someone like me had to say, in fact they didn’t expect anyone to be saying anything. They came to drink coffee and maybe visit among themselves, read the paper or whatever else. We rolled out a worship set and a little preaching right in the middle of that.
The owner of the shop is a committed follower of Jesus and it’s in his heart to take this one hour a week and dedicate it to sharing about Jesus. He invited us to be a part of it and we are engaged there with other pastors, worship leaders and churches in what is an expression of the church being the city and not a distinct club unto itself.
Worship went well. Good singing and music in a coffee shop isn’t too weird, even if it lifts up Jesus. Then I came up to tell these people of Jesus and the Kingdom of God. I worked from Luke 4:43, “But he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”
People kept talking among themselves, ordering, drinking coffee and coming and going on with their morning. One lady was pretty visibly attentive to what we were doing and some others would spend periodic moments of looking up but they would soon go back to their stuff. Along the way, I felt the encouragement of the Lord drive out my anxiety. I felt Him encourage “Keep going; they are hearing more than you think they are.” So I did, and I increased in my confidence and boldness at His word.
Afterwards there was evidence that more was heard than I might have otherwise imagined as a few came up to offer encouragement and feedback. Most of all, however, I was moved by how I was moved. When you do the deal exclusively in a church week after week, the edge can get dulled. This wasn’t at all dull.
This was “awkward, and good.” It was uncomfortable and invigorating. If Jesus really changed me the way I say He did, and He did, then the life that He gave me flows through me by offering testimony and invitation of that life to others. The flow through requires sharing and there is a risky exhilaration when offering it at the risk of rejection.
I don’t know what your comfort zone is, but I’m encouraged to encourage you to get out of it. Let life flow through you and not just happen around you. You’re invited to the telling and unfolding of the greatest story ever. Tell somebody.