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Church Rearranged

What can Starbucks and Alcoholics Anonymous teach us about the power of interaction?

It all started in a Starbucks, by accident. I'd been working as a barista in a huge Starbucks in a Borders bookstore, finishing up my Master's degree, paying my bills, and trying to make my way back home to America after serving in Wales as a missionary for seven years. After being asked so many times about The Da Vinci Code while working behind the bar, I decided to start a reading and discussion group about it for "one night only." Thirty unchurched people turned up. At the end of the night, they said, "Can we do that again?" When I asked them why, the response floored me, "We were able to drink coffee, ask questions about Jesus, and nobody yelled at us."

They wanted to come back and talk about Jesus because we respected them enough to listen to what they had to say. When this reading group became a church, our two-hour gathering incorporated a two-way discussion for the final 30 minutes.

John's gospel is filled with conversations between Jesus and other people. It's not a collection of ...

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