Joe & Jesus
I have to be honest - I have never tasted coffee so I do not “have to have it” but I do know people who cannot wake up until they have that cup of coffee, or “joe”, as some people say. I also know people in meetings who constantly refill that cup of coffee! I would be shaking all over! People are serious about their coffee and they will spend lots of money, daily, on coffee! And one thing you may not know is where “joe” came from. “Joe” was slang for coffee in the World War 1 era. Thankfully, my church knows that coffee may get you started but God keeps you going! And they know that if you buy coffee, they will come. This isn’t only true in our services. Joe is bringing young adults to learn about Jesus.
I know people do not like a cup of cold coffee. Most do not drink day old coffee. If you want fresh coffee, you have to throw out the old and start with a new brew. Isaiah told the people of God that they are like the “best wind mixed with water.” They needed to throw out the old. Isaiah 1: 22, “Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water.” People also do not want lukewarm coffee, God does not want us lukewarm. Revelation 3: 16, “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
We have a college- age ministry called that is dedicated to being the bridge between youth and starting your own path in adulthood. It is to help them grow deeper in their faith, build community, and support each other in Christian fellowship. Our pastors meet at a coffee shop one night a week and meet with these college aid young adults. They go to different schools, some are not in school but they are all college age. They do prayer requests and often text each other during the week. They have been very vulnerable when they need prayers, they support each other and hold each other accountable. They are finding their community and becoming a part of each other’s lives. They have started bringing friends. From the beginning they have been very welcoming to others.
One night our group was in line and our pastor was waiting in the back to pay for all of the coffee. There were four other customers behind her. Three of our people were late and came and got in the front of the line. Our pastor saw that the people in the back of the line may have felt they were “cut”, so they thanked them for letting our group stay together and asked if they could pay for their coffee’s also. They invited them to the Bible study. One of the guys said he had not found a church. One of the girls came to church and then to Bible study! You never know what an invitation will do. This one invitation could have changed this person's life forever and all eternity. Mark 16: 15, "He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.'"
One of the young men who comes to the study found out about it because of his mother who lives in Burlington. Our pastor had done a revival in Burlington and saw a girl with a UNCW sweatshirt on. He talked with her and her mom and learned the brother was at UNCW. He told them to invite him to the study and he began coming. When we are doing God's work, He will put people in our paths. Proverbs 16: 3, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans."
Most importantly, these young adults are learning about Jesus. They are making friends who will stand by them. They are learning about genuine friendship. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” They will learn what the Bible says first hand. They will grow in their relationship with Jesus. Isn’t that what our church should be teaching? And if they are not here we should go to them! They are learning that they may need a little bit of coffee but they are going to need a lot of Jesus.
I think it is wonderful that good friends are made with good coffee. That is two of life’s great perks!