Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coffee Talk

"I was in the military, attending a church every Sunday, pretty religious if you ask me. It was time for my second child to be baptized and the godparents and in-laws were coming in on Friday night. I went down to the church and asked the pastor if we could do the baptism on Saturday. He explained that the baptism had to happen during a weekend service. I explained that my family was only going to be here Saturday. He said no. I told him I had invested $6k in the church the year before and not to spend it this year because it wouldn't be there. Where the hell does the Bible say you have to baptize in front of X number of people? I never went back."

This was the conversation I overheard five minutes ago as I sat drinking my tall skinny pumpkin spice latte. It was followed by similar stories from the others sitting in the circle. I've heard these stories countless times before. I've read about these stories in books I read about the de-churched. But, I still get heartbroken and angry every time it happens.

Make no mistake, I overheard this conversation from the opposite side of the coffee shop, but it was intended for my hearing. I frequent the coffee shop as does this group. We say hello, we've exchanged names, we've shared friendly banter when we end up in each other's seats. They know who I am and what I do, and today they wanted me to hear what they think about the church.

I hope this is the first step closer to them being open to me joining the conversation. It's taken a year to get this far.

I need some feedback. What do you think when you hear this kind of conversation? Have you had a similar experience personally or with a friend or co-worker who still won't accept your invitation to worship?

Talk to me please.

4 comments:

POPS said...

I know how you feel, it happens to me at work sometimes. Maybe it is because if I have the opportunity to say something about ARC being my Church I do, and I invite people to come. Just comes out of my mouth without thinking, that is when I get the old, ”well that is you and not me “ or “that is good for you but not for me, I do not need Church to believe the way I do”.
The what can the Church do for me attitude. The I do not have time attitude or waste of a good Sunday morning attitude. One I like the best from my old High School friend was “ do you still believe in God ?” That one came from a person with a Masters in Education who had a lot of influence over a lot of young people as a High School teacher. I use to call him Darth Vader, trying to sway people to the Dark Side.
My answer to him was” if I you are right and there is no God, then all I have done is given up a little of my time here, but if I am right and you are wrong then you have lost everything “. That brought the conversation to a close.
OK, you do not have to be as blunt as I was, just be Jenn and it let the conversation come to you. I have faith that you can seize the moment and they will listen.
POPS

May said...

Jenn,
The first & most important thing you can do for that person or the group, is PRAY. Which I'm sure you are already doing. Don't stop. They need God to soften their hearts so they can except & understand "the church" better. The church needs to be accountable to their child as well, is the reason the child needed to be Baptized in front of "other people" I believe is the answer. Evidently his minister didn't explain that to him. The financial donation had nothing to do with it. You give with your heart. That is my take.
Just be sweet & nice and continue to pray for them and they will come around in His time.
Have you offered to pray with him one on one in private? If he refuses, pray with others in the coffee shop for the group so they can hear you. Not so loud that it will embarrass them, just loud enough so they know you are praying for them. Over and over and over each week. That will have to touch their hearts and hopefully plant a seed.
Pops' better half

Anonymous said...

And still variants?

Anonymous said...

You have hit the mark. I think, what is it excellent thought.