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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

wednesdays out - 1 week in

A few weeks ago I described our Wednesday Night out "experiment." I said I would report on how it's going...

After THE FIRST TIME, it had already exceeded my expectations. Two weeks in, those surprises multiplied several times over.

We have about 15-20 people going out in groups of 3-5. I give them several simple questions to discuss (with each other) during the hour out. The questions are something like 1) Where did you see or experience God's presence in your life this past week? 2) Is church important to you? Why? 3) Can we pray about anything in your life?

The groups disperse within about one mile of our church. There are two separate groups at Caribou Coffee, one at Barnes and Noble, one at a local bar/restaurant called The Lodge, one in the parking lot at the basketball goal, and one that stays at the church for folks who have babies in the nursery or don't otherwise want to go too far away.

We also encourage the groups to interact casually with waitstaff, baristas, and anyone else they run into. We ask them to patronize the store or restaurant and to tip well!

So here was my VISIONARY HOPE: after 6-8 weeks of this, we might have met a few regulars and the staff wherever we are and perhaps God might open a door or two to more significant spiritual conversation. We would be going to where people are, building relationships, and pointing people to God.

Here's what has happened so far:

WEEK ONE: as my group was leaving Caribou, I went to meet the manager/barista and see if there was any possibility of bringing my guitar the following week and providing an hour of live (non-religious) music in the outside eating area. The manager, Desiree, got a strange look on her face and said, "Live music?" She went on to tell me that at her previous store a co-manager had started live music and it was wildly successful. The other managers at this present store wanted her to start the same thing (because she had been at the store where it worked), but she had no idea how to get it going. She told me she had to Google "acoustic music" to see what it even was (no drums or amps, if you didn't know). I realized the strange look on her face was shock that live music had dropped into her lap. I was shocked to find there was already a desire and need and the door was already open! So, another friend and I started up the next week and are now talking to her about possible regular weekend gigs. On top of that, she suggested that we put out a tip jar as live musicians often do. I'm already thinking we might do that, but have it go to a recognizable local mission like "Loaves and Fishes" or "Crisis Assistance." Unbelievable!! We just ventured off the church property and the need was waiting for us. (I also think God thought we could use some encouragement!!)

Rather than write a too-long post... I'll post later about the amazing development in the second week and yet another on the third week! Let me know your thoughts and come back for more! Unbelievable... God, that is!

Link to 1 week in
Link to 2 weeks in
Link to 3 weeks in
Link to 4 weeks in
Link to Wednesday Night Experiment, year 2

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