Every week we host the ABIDE Assemble, a gathering of young adults in the Tri-Cities, at Sharehouse. It is busy, noisy and crowded coffee shop. Often only half of the people in the shop are there to participate in our musical worship, our teach or the discussion but all of them hear it. It is doing church in a strange environment. The gospel is proclaimed and community is built. But it is strange.
By no means is the environment ideal for the thorough exposition of scripture. It is just too distraction filled and loud. But we wage in and do it anyway. Why? Because we have been corralled behind the walls of a building for too long. And people need to hear this message of hope. And people are hearing it.
The other half, those that are trying to study or just hang out with friends. Those of all ages and political views. Those that happen to be in the coffee shop at the time see us and hear us. They see our community. The hear our conviction and hope. Some might be offended and I take rest in the fact that I am not the first to offend with the gospel. But others might be challenged or even changed.
We know they are hearing. We know from the random barista at another coffee shop asking this pastor if he is a “speaker” and did he speak at Sharehouse last night..? “It was good. I need to check you guys out…” Now we trust the Holy Spirit to transform hearts.
Public preaching. Loud. Distracting. Difficult. Fully worth it.