For the last three weeks after school each Friday afternoon I have been visiting our local tavern .
There are a couple of reasons for this.
1. I am keen to meet some of the people who will never ever wander into any church anywhere unless they are drunk and lost. The crew who hang out at this place are very rough and ready… It feels like the Bronx. We would be very unlikely to cross paths in other parts of life.
2. I am also keen to explore Jesus command to serve the poor and needy and I am aware that this could be an opening into that playing field. Most of those in my own suburb are doing ok financially but next to us are a couple of suburbs where people are really struggling. I sense some of them hang out here.
3. It is also a place to learn how to be a cross cultural missionary. This is a place where I really don’t know the routine and am learning as I go. I reckon its healthy for me to do this – it reminds me how much of a cultural gap there is even in Australia at times between the different social clusters.
I intentionally go alone – when you go with friends its too easy just to hang out with those people and never actually meet anyone else. I do feel a little anxious some days, as I don’t know the ropes, and worry that I will look like a dork, but so far I have met people each time I have been there and had some really interesting conversations.
On Friday I actually thought I was going to go a whole day without speaking to anyone…. I had been there an hour, sitting on my own sipping a beer before I was able to spark a conversation. I find that when I’m not talking with someone I am praying for those around me, so it doesn’t feel like wasted time.
My belief is that if I can hang out there regularly and actually make contact with some people then maybe I will be able to be ‘one of them’. There seems to be a regular crew who know each other and I am guessing it will take a while to be accepted as a regular.
While I much prefer the cafÃƒÂ© scene my observation is that in cafÃƒÂ©s people don’t interact much outside of their table – that is the etiquette of cafÃƒÂ©s – whereas at the pub the conversation seems much more open. There is talk across the bar and amongst a range of people.
As a person who grew up as a dyed in the wool evangelical and as an avoider of pubs I am a total foreigner to this scene so I am enjoying the challenge and learning a heap every week.booty call divx online