"So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who started attending a new church, and I asked him what had impacted him the most in regard to his new church. His response was that the lead pastor invited him out for a cup of coffee. This was not at all what I had expected his answer to be, but nonetheless this was his answer. The more I thought about it, I became convinced that this was quite a remarkable answer. I actually believe that coffee and the gospel are more correlated than most might think. Let me explain.
As I look back on the ministry of Jesus there were times where He was simply with the people. As I look back on the ministry of Paul there were times where he simply shared his life with others around him. We don't exactly know what Jesus and the apostles did during their "down" time, but if we were to fast forward to today my guess is that, at times, it would look something like having a cup of joe with someone. Although our context is different from the first century, the principle remains the same; Christians were, and should be, giving of their time and lives for the sake of the gospel. As we share life with others and prayerfully seek the advancement of His kingdom, we have a great hope that the story of Jesus will permeate lives. Since a good number of us go to a coffee shop at least once a week and because Christians should seek every opportunity to love our neighbor, perhaps we can revamp the way we do coffee time.
Now, DO NOT misunderstand what I am saying. I am not at all saying that the good news of Jesus Christ transforms us in such a way that all of the sudden we are enabled to have 4 cups of coffee a day with our dearest brothers and sisters; what I am saying is that living in light of the gospel means that we must spend time with others. Although many of us are not going to find a woman at the well to share the truth with, many of us will find a woman in the waiting line to share the the truth with. Since many of us already take time to visit our good ol' coffee shops for a drink, why don't we take a little extra time to share the good news with the person making the drink?
My friend went to a new environment and was blessed by be taken out to coffee. How many people are new to your environment? Would they be blessed, just as my friend was, by being asked out to coffee, to lunch, to the park? The gospel isn't spending time with new people, but living in light of the gospel means that you do spend time with new people. It means you go out being desirous for others to know Christ, so much so that you don't only share the gospel of God but you share your very life as well. Spending time with new people can be as simple as asking them out for coffee. With that being said, I hope you can see why I think that coffee and the gospel have a closer relationship than you might think and I pray the next time you are out enjoying some java that you will share your life and the gospel of God with your neighbor.