On Friday night Sherri and I went to a local sports bar to meet a new friend and connect with a musician. This isn’t the first time I’ve met people in a bar, and I never walk away unchanged. I’ll share more about that later.
As we sat surrounded by smoke, profanity, and brokenness I had one thought consistently stay with me – “I want these guys to know God! I want to pastor a church where they would be likely to attend and participate.”
Anyhow, I twittered some of the experience as it unfolded. Here are my “real time” thoughts:
- @ a bar to meet a new friend & musician… he just introduced me to the whole bar as “pastor in the house.”
- now he just dedicated a song to sherri & me! oh… now i’m starting to hear about peoples religion stories. adventures of a pastor…
- now he’s singing “here i am to worship”. i wonder when the last time that was played in a bar?
Some further reflection upon these tweets:
- The patrons were blown away and kind when they realized a pastor was in the house. I didn’t even have to pay for refills on our Pepsi’s (though I did leave a nice tip). Disclaimer: not everyone was sure how to respond and many didn’t, but the ones who did were splendid.
- Everyone has a religious story. Most people are willing to tell it, and not ashamed of it either… even in a bar. How can we help people explore and share their stories? How can we help them connect to The Author?
- I wonder if more worship would occur in unlikely places if God’s people were willing to show up in unlikely places?
- People in a bar act as surprised when a preacher shows up as people in a lot of churches act when a pagan shows up. That’s bad on both counts.
So that’s my experience. What do you think? How far are you willing to go to connect with people?