Faith / Lifestyle

Creating Church away from Church

If you personally know me, you probably know that I am a barista (AKA maker of all things coffee, not a barrister in a law firm, to my parents disappointment lol) in a café in Cornwall, and LOVE it. I’ve worked in various cafe’s since I was 13 and throughout those 7 years, have discovered that God has placed such a calling on my life of ministering in cafés. To create a space of comfort, safety,  a space of listening ears, shoulders to cry on, friends to laugh with, in partner with a delectable coffee and homemade meal. God has given me such a vision of what a café can be used for, not just a quick in n out meal fix, but a church away from church.

Now, if you’ve ever worked in café or restaurant environments, you’ll know it can also be referred to as ‘working in hospitality’. The general connotations of hospitality is plastering on a fake smile and being friendly to customers or clients who have the ability to be painfully difficult to serve, and being paid minimum wage to do so. However, I’ve recently been learning about the REAL definition of hospitality, and the one person who did it incredibly well, with integrity and selflessness when He should have been the one person that would have been able to get away with being everything but. His name was Jesus.

In the book ‘Beautiful Resistance‘ by Jon Tyson, he writes; “no where in all recorded history do we see radical hospitality as we do in the life of Jesus. Jesus’ ministry was the rescuing love and welcome of God on display ” Now this got me thinking, about everything I had ever been taught about ‘hospitality’ in my experience as a barista. ‘the customer is always right’, ‘Greet them with a smile’, ‘Be polite, we need good reviews’. And yes, this all should be happening, however the motivation shouldn’t be because we want to please our bosses, but because we DESIRE to. Because we desire to transform strangers into friends from a genuine, raw kindness and graciously serve them. We should use these times of interaction with people as opportunities of MINISTRY. For people to meet us and wonder what is different about us….the difference being relationship with the CREATOR.

Now, you’re probably thinking ‘that’s all good and well Mads, but I don’t actually work in a café’. Well, lucky for you, the hospitality Jesus so beautifully demonstrated whilst He walked this Earth can never be confined by an establishment, but can be used in every single area, corner and crevice of life. You just have to seek the opportunities.

Jesus’ art of radical hospitality is especially seen in the book of Luke. In Luke 9 Jesus feeds the five thousand. Luke 19 Jesus has dinner with Zacchaeus the tax collector. Luke 5 Jesus eats with sinners and tax collectors in the home of Levi. Luke 22 Jesus conducts the Last Supper. The list goes on. 

Jesus used unconditional hospitality to break the barriers of society, to splinter prejudice and isolation and create refuge, disciples, community. He calls us to do the same. He wants us to turn our dinner tables into churches, to invite and give SPACE to the anonymous, the ignored, the rejected without seeking even a head nod in return.

I challenge you to invite people into your spaces, to radically offer and give. To mirror the revolutionary hospitality laid out in the hero that was Jesus of Nazareth.

God bless,

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Maddy has just completed her A-Levels and is now planning to take a gap year to do some missionary work. She is super excited to discover what God has in store for her during and after this gap year.

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