So I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you didn’t love coffee the first time you tasted it . . . amirite?
But somehow, over time your body acclimated to the caffeine, you sugared it up, added flavored creams, discovered lattes and cappuccinos and mochas . . . And maybe even some sense of social benefit. When I became accustomed to coffee, I was in college and it was cool to hang out the Kava House in East Grand Rapids. They had local musicians in to play acoustic gigs in the evenings, and it was a completely new, exciting, and emerging subculture way back then.
I had no idea at that time that coffee would play a part in my future ministry as a pastor. But just this morning, where I sit (at NaDean’s Coffee in Mattawan), I have had three significant conversations with people who came to this place for coffee.
I had one conversation with a neighbor who met me here to talk about life and discipleship. I had one conversation with a nonbeliever who I see regularly here. She has clearly heard the good news of Jesus Christ through our interactions. And I had one conversation with a wonderful Christian neighbor who just chatted about life and some changes coming up for her family.
NaDean has given me the title of coffee shop pastor. She has literally referred people to me for spiritual advise. I love this gig.
I have people who are now vitally connected to my church that first met me at the coffee shop. I have baptized people that I first met at a coffee shop. I have seen marriages restored and growing in a healthy direction through connections I first made in a coffee shop.
Coffee isn’t the Holy Spirit, but coffee has been a surprising tool in my pastoral toolbox. I am grateful for my local coffee shop! And it tastes good. This morning, I am just having a Guatemalan black no sugar. And the price of the coffee was worth the conversations!