I’m writing this from McDonald’s. On an uncomfortable chair. Having eaten something I shouldn’t. In need of a pee thanks to free refills. This is one of my “Third places.”
Eric Cooter in the article below shares about the ever growing theme of being involved in the community by simply being present. Anyone who is paying attention to anything happening in the current conversation about church and church leadership has probably heard the call for pastors, priests, and other leaders to be present outside the church by conducting business somewhere more public, like a Starbucks, the library, or a restaurant. I guess I’ll add my voice to that chorus.
There is no doubt that Jesus did his best work at places the public gathered. The article talks about the Samaritan woman at the well. To that we could add the crippled man healed at the public pool, the people gathered for the wedding party, and, if we are feeling spicy, the money changers at the temple. The disciples too got in on the action at Solomon’s porch or Paul at Mars Hill.
I was initially pretty hesitant about this idea. I understood it in concept but felt strongly it was the purview of my extroverted colleges, of which I am not one. However, I learned a couple things. First, headphones are like a brick wall. No one will bother you even if nothing is playing. Second, the easiest thing to do is schedule your one-on-one meetings in a public place and show up early with a book (bonus you don’t have to make the coffee). Third, you need to go to the same place at a consistent time if possible. People need to see you a few times before the good things start to happen.
[Bathroom time. Do I take the laptop or leave it?]