For almost two years Mary Ellen and I have lived in an apartment in Sandy Springs, GA. We loved it there, but we have so many folks visiting us, or living with us, that we needed some more space. So about a month ago, we moved into a new home in Roswell, GA, about ten minutes away. There was only one drawback – I lost my “parking lot” ministry at the apartment.
Over our two years in the apartments, God opened so many doors for ministry, and most of them happened while I was in the parking lot there. Going to the mailbox, parking the car, walking the dogs – it seemed that more often than not, I got into a conversation with someone. Sometimes the conversations were nothing more than, “Hey, how are you?” But very often they quickly became spiritual conversations. I would get opportunities to share why we were there. I would get opportunities to invite people to one of our churches. I got to listen to people share their struggles. I did marriage counseling. I got to pray over a lot of people.
When we moved into a new neighborhood, I feared that those opportunities might begin to shrink. But God is good, and He’s given me a new ministry – my “Starbucks Ministry”.
Our new house doesn’t have internet yet. That has proven to be something of an obstacle to getting things done. So Starbucks has become my new center of operations. As such, I spend a LOT of time there. And God has opened a LOT of doors for spiritual conversations here.
In the last two weeks, I’ve had serious conversations, each lasting 45-60 minutes, with:
- Five separate Starbucks baristas
- A personal trainer from the gym across the parking lot
- Four complete strangers
- My realtor
We talk about their struggles, their dreams, their fears. We talk about our church. I offer to pray for them. We have become friends. Jesus has allowed me to enter each of their “faith journeys”.
I share this, not to point at myself. I share this because you can do the same thing. I just ask God to open doors for me to speak to people, and He does. You can do that. You can become an important part of someone’s faith journey. You can do that today.
Our world desperately needs people who will act out their role as “salt and light”. We need people who will share the love of Jesus to push back the darkness of our world. You don’t need a degree in theology. You don’t need to know all the answers. You just need to be willing to love people, and listen to them. Don’t worry – the Holy Spirit will take over from there.
I would love to hear you stories as well! In the comments section, please share how God is opening doors of ministry for you!
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