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Chapter 2. The Starbucks Church

January 9, 2010

The Starbucks Church

Almost 30 people sat in the audience. The front door of the assembly was open and the 65-degree breeze felt cool. Graffiti was scrawled on the house across the street. From somewhere, Hip Hop music blared. Six or seven kids sat in the back rows doing their homework or playing with their Game Boy. Two pre-teens had headphones on while they listened to who-knows-what during the service.

Three and sometimes four of the parents and adults stayed turned around helping the students with their class work. Occasionally one of the adults would guiltily glance over his shoulder and look toward the front. A few more sat disinterested or depressed, not caring to make eye contact with anyone at the pulpit.

The lone usher proudly walked down the aisle during the second song passing out Starbucks coffee and bottled water to one and all. He carried them on the offering plate and dispensed them with great fan fare making several trips.

The music was energetically played and skillfully sung. The guitar was a bit too loud but no one seemed bothered. One mature Filipino woman looked hungrily at the pulpit. She was the only one that would make consistent eye contact with the song leader or preacher. She alone seemed interested enough in God to cry, pray or worship. When the invitation was given, she often was the only one to respond. She wept often and easily.

The blond twins girls on the 2nd row, just chewed gum and seemed unaffected. They once had the Holy Ghost when they were young, but now that they were 17 and old enough to attract boys, God was not on their minds. If they lived for God, they would lose their boy friends. So they still steadfastly resisted everything about holiness and church while their parents looked on in helpless dismay.

The pastor and his wife both worked outside jobs to try and keep things going. The cost of housing was high, the cost of living was high, and actually, everything was expensive here. They personally spent their own money to keep the doors open. No one else seemed to contribute or care that much.

Someone in the church had a small dog, a Chihuahua named Archie that they always brought to church on Tuesdays. Archie had the run of the church while he was there. He ran from person to person during the service. He could be seen walking under the benches going from family to family. Hands could be seen reaching under the pews and petting the dog or offering him treats. Occasionally someone would pick him up and hold him in their lap for a while. The dog received more attention than the sermon.

The Filipino sister, started to cry at the end of the service. She wept with great sorrow and fervor.  Finally she leaned forward in her pew, and eventually she crumbled to the floor. She groaned in the deepest of travail and intercessory prayer. She was ignored until she fell on the floor and lay there. After hearing her groan loudly in travail, someone used their cell phone to call 911, thinking the dear sister had a medical emergency. She did have an emergency, but it wasn’t medical. She was praying for revival.

This Too Is Home Missions!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. kelly holland permalink
    January 9, 2010 1:23 pm

    wow please tell me that did not really happen in a one God church!

    • Gene Morgan permalink
      July 10, 2010 5:09 am

      Sadly that is true. We had the same experience, not quite to that extent, while trying to start a church in Tucumcari, NM. Quite frustrating, but you keep hoping somehow it will sink in.

  2. Sis Ann permalink
    February 20, 2014 9:25 am

    I hope that the Filipino sister’s prayer had been granted by the Lord.
    #I am thankful that American brethren had extended prayer support to our group when the mission was starting. Now, the Apostolic Jesus Name Church in the Philippines is 40 years and counting. Praise the Lord.

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