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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Lesson From A Friend: Coffee Shop Ministry

                      Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.                                            
 1 Thessalonians 5:11


Karen carefully took a sip of hot coffee and said, “This is where most of my ministry happens.” 

I was puzzled as I looked around the busy coffee shop. “How does that work?” I asked.  

“It’s a great place to talk,” she replied. “We all have times when we need to share a problem, vent our feelings, or connect with a friend. A coffee shop provides a relaxing place to meet.” 

“I guess that’s true,” I agreed. “How often do you meet someone here?”       

Her face lit up as she said, “Almost every week. This week I got together with a newcomer from our church. I could tell she was lonely. The week before I came here with a woman from work who’s going through a divorce. Both ladies just needed someone to encourage them.” 

 “Well, I realize you have the gift of encouragement,” I commented, “but how do you know what to say to them?”

Karen thought for a moment then answered, “Mostly I just listen. I let them know I care. I guess that’s my ministry in a nutshell.”    

Encouragement is an important ministry. God has uniquely gifted some believers like Karen to meet the needs of others this way. However, all of us can extend encouragement to those who need it.

We can offer someone support by calling them, writing a note, or even meeting them in the coffee shop.

Heavenly Father, make us sensitive to people who need encouragement.


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