We know that Paul, when he entered a new city, opened up a shop. He worked with his hands, more than likely working in leather. In the course of his dealings with the public, he would share his faith. Out of these conversations little gatherings grew and eventually became the nucleus of early home groups; the beginning of what we call churches.

Almost any morning I can be found at my local Starbucks. This past Wednesday I was sitting with one of my coffee buddies, this 23 year old art student from the college across the street. She knows I’m going to seminary, and we have some nice conversations; she has been fascinated with how the New Testament grew, and how it is analyzed using text criticism. Later, a friend of her’s stopped by and sat down, a young rather fem male friend studying interior design. Add to this mix a young married guy sitting at another out door table.

How it happened, I know not, but within a short time I was fielding questions regarding faith. For the next hour and a half we shared, laughed, and simply conversesed. I was not the keeper of authority, I was not the one who knew all the answers, it was not the righteous against the unrighteous. There was no confrontation.

Later, after the two students left for class, the young married gentleman asked to join me at my table and we had further discussions about scripture, but it was more about how it came about, and places where the text allows people to go deeper because of ambiguities. I shared my excitement for those places as that’s there greater deeper things can be found.

When I left those moments at Starbucks and got into my car to drive to work at the church I said, “Thank you, God, for bringing me these people.” I then smiled as I remembered spiritual direction session….there I go again….gathering people.