Theological insights from St. Arbucks/Laurence the Barista

This is the drink that is only purchasable at my local St. Arbucks

It is known by those who know Laurence the Barista as “Satisfaction” but once St. Arbucks Corporate heard about this and requested him to write out the recipe it became “Tropical Breeze” – to which I think it came down to people saying “give me Satisfaction” to Laurence with a wink in their eye, heck if I were a barista I’d come up with a drink called “Guilty pleasure” or even just “Pleasure”…but anyway.

Us who know Laurence know him as a kind man, who on a whim will make you a drink and not charge you for it. He’s an active listener and retains what he hears so as to ask you later on how _______ is doing or something else.

So with nice Baristas like Laurence, it got me thinking; why am I sometimes hesitant to share the Gospel message with others? I am comfortable with talking to others about this great Barista and yet not about God and how great he is…time for a shift in my thinking.
While I do preach the Gospel message by my lifestyle I recognize that I can only take my peers and students as far as I will go, that is, if I’m not rooted in the Bible and connecting/praying to God I certainly limit myself as a follower of Christ and one who aims to do youth ministry as a lifelong career. I’ll be honest there was a time where I didn’t pick up my Bible apart from finding verses that the pastor was talking about on Sunday mornings, I rationalized that if I were going to read the Bible everyday it would eventually become something of a checklist item.
I think it’s been in the wake of going to a university that caters to a Christian audience that I’ve been reading the Bible more than prior to, and I think I know why.
Apart from sometimes wondering to myself if I’m doing this to just do this, I have a hungering and a thirsting for God like I haven’t had in a while; anyone can say that they’re hungry or they’re thirsty, but you know those times where you really are and your whole body aches for not being fed or having one’s thirst quenched? That’s me in a spiritual sense.
Prayer was never a problem, but I do recognize, transparency was a part of the problem. Apart from God knowing me COMPLETELY there were times I prayed bullshitty prayers, or I’d tell people “I’ll pray for you” and yet I did not…it sucks, and I am sorry for my past wrongdoings…but I have to move forward and focus on what’s ahead and not what is in my life’s rear view mirror…

As I do youth ministry I am more and more aware of my discipleship skills, as in teaching a handful (so far I have 5) teen guys whom I’m investing more time in. I’m not aiming to play favorites, I just recognize those who are in my radius of influence, and I’m good with these students where some others might not necessarily be – another good reason to have a youth group with plenty of leaders if there ever was one!

***

In order for me to grow as a follower of Christ and as someone who intends to do youth ministry for life, a calling not a death sentence, I need to study up on the Bible because I want to and because I have a hungering to do so as well. If I claim to know-it-all I’m fooling myself as well as those I’m ministering unto, if I aim to do all this just to make it the Nathanael show…I might as well not do youth ministry. Because living out the Gospel message is well and good, and definitely should be the way followers of Christ should live, but you also have to know what you believe which so often comes from reading the Bible.

~Nathanael~

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