>Living in the Interruptions: EP 1 – Why every pastor needs to spend an hour a week at Starbucks (or coffee shop of your choice)

>It never ceases to amaze me how many different hats a pastor has to wear. I’ve been working on a sermon out of Rev 3:1-6 this week for my church, and I have been challenged (yes, by my own sermon) to really live out a sincere obedience to the Lord. Well, as it always seems to be, whenever I am considering and reflecting on something, it seems the Lord gives immediate opportunity to test it out. Last Thursday, I had probably one of the fullest and most packed days I can remember in a long time.

However, the thing that impacted me the most was not the set things in my schedule, but the unexpected – what many people might consider interruptions. In between my meetings, I went to Starbucks with Mark Kang and as I picked up my drink, a random guy just started talking to me, telling me how his hand was hurting from filling out a ton of job applications. As per my post from last week, I decided to find out about his story. I made a mental decision to ask him questions and to listen – to find out what his motivations and desires were. I made this decision as a means to apply some thoughts from an earlier blog post on listening.

Here’s what I found out:

  • he had just moved to Wheaton two days ago
  • he was living in Schaumburg, working as a server at Papadeaux’s
  • being a server was not his life ambition, but a quick way to earn some money. Instead, he wants to become a drug/alcohol rehab counselor, and will be starting a class in the fall.
  • just last week he celebrated his one year anniversary of being clean – and next Wednesday is his 26th birthday
  • he was looking for a way to meet new people (I suggested a church, and he responded with a blank look on his face, then quickly changed the subject).
  • he moved to Wheaton to help his sick grandmother b/c family is everything he’s got. 
  • he has no car, works out at 7:00 am (after completing a watchmen shift of being with his grandmother from midnight to 6:45), then comes to the Starbucks to catch the bus to Naperville
All this from a 15 minute conversation, and no, I didn’t take notes while I was talking with him. I just chose to engage and listen and remember. After our brief convo, we exchanged numbers (everyone needs a friend, right?) I texted him later that day to tell him good luck on the job hunt. He texted back saying that he had already received an interview, so I offered him a ride to Naperville the next day, and found out more about his story. Who knows where the Lord will take this friendship, but as he got out of the car in Naperville, I blessed him with a prayer. Later, he texted me that he wasn’t sure how the interview went.
Maybe God wants to do more than just get him a job!?
Stay tuned for two more episodes from my thrilling Thursday – a car ride with a resettled ‘refugee’ from Hurrican Katrina and coffee with an Iranian refugee who was telling me we shouldn’t kick Bibles…

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