During a recent trip to Fort Scott, Kansas, my friend and I discovered a wonderful coffee shop. Our chai lattes tasted spicy yet mellow, and the missional atmosphere of this shop impressed us.
Their bookshelves were filled with classics and some Christian fiction. I donated the Reverend G books and promised to bring the third book after its release in August.
But we were most interested in the church service advertised for Sunday morning, so we put it on our calendars and showed up along with about 30 other folks of all ages.
I looked around the room and thought, what a wonderful way to attract those who might be curious about faith. A great way to think outside the box!
I was a bit disappointed when we were handed bulletins – not so outside the box – but even churchy habits are hard to break.
The video sermon was taken from Romans. Seriously? Romans? How can you attract seekers with one of Paul’s most verbose books, a treatise even seasoned believers find difficult to understand.
But it soon became apparent that everyone in attendance was a believer or a seasoned church-goer so we discussed righteousness, legalism and how to determine God’s will.
A lovely young woman sang and accompanied herself on an acoustic guitar. We relaxed and enjoyed her melodies, interspersed with whooshes from the espresso machine. It was fun to meet saints from another town who worship the same God and aren’t afraid to welcome strangers.
Then a wonderful surprise greeted us as we left the building. Across the street was a colorful wall with a unique wooden door – Tuscan colors and the rough textures I love. We each took pictures while my creative mind immediately jumped to the questions: What’s on the other side of that door? What kind of novel can I plot with this door and this wall as the main focus?
Hope finds believers in interesting and surprising places all over the world. We so often root ourselves in our comfortable church pews where it’s easy to snooze through our own spirituality.
But when we move outside our comfortable walls and experience church in different settings, we breathe a fresh invite into the family that makes us Christian.
I’m encouraged to find pockets of believers in various places, worshiping in unique ways and spreading the love of Jesus without the confines of traditional walls. The texture and color of different congregants provide a rich setting for the stories we are all writing within our spiritual selves.
I think God must be glad about these creative venues. He is always able to create a new plan even while His attributes remain the same.
And as one of those creative types who yearns for more spiritual experiences outside the norm, I, too, am glad and filled with hope.
©2015 RJ Thesman – author of the Reverend G books – http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh