Coffee & Discipleship

CoffeeSacsThree months ago, in the beginning of November I started roasting coffee with an order of 8-1 lb. bags from an Oakland-based business called Sweet Maria’s.

I’ve since followed that up with a 20 lb. re-up, a growing collection of popcorn poppers, and four coffee roasting disciples that I know of.

One guy is an old classmate of Alinn@’s.  We had him over for dinner one day.  He enjoys coffee so we told him about my new hobby/obsession.  I don’t even think I did a demo.  Just told him about the website and how they have demo videos online.  And last week, we got a postcard from him saying that he’s hooked.

One guy is a Chilean winemaker at a winery Alinn@ and I enjoy.  We got in kind of late in their tasting room hours.  I don’t even know how we got to talking about coffee at a winery but let’s just say that our pourer wasn’t all that helpful until I started talking about how I’m roasting coffee.  Suddenly, he’s chatty and giving us extra pours.

The other two guys are friends.  I did demos for both of them.  One of them immediately picked it up and he’s since placed his own order, and we’ve exchanged beans and tips on roasting.  The other guy took some more convincing.  He was hesitant until I pushed one of my popcorn poppers on him along with a pound of beans.  Since then, he’s blown through that pound and got his brother-in-law into it.

And that sparked a back and forth via text between him and me where he remarked, “If only discipleship were this easy.”

I believe it can be.  And to some extent, it was discipleship in that I passed along a part of my life to these four guys to varying degrees.  I passed along some information and resources.  I invited three of them to my house.  I invited two of them to watch me do something I do on a regular basis.  I challenged one to do what he watched me do.  And I’ve heard back from three of them on how it’s been going.

For a limited few, simply passing along the information and resources is enough to get them going on their way.  It was enough for the Chilean winemaker.  But he was highly motivated because he was highly dissatisfied with the quality of coffee he was drinking.

The other three required some more beyond the information.

Could it be that our efforts in discipleship aren’t as effective as we hope because we’ve reduced it down to just passing along information?  What if discipleship and by association faith required not just acquiring knowledge but living life together and imitating a way of life?

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