I love monday mornings, I really do
What could be better than coffee, the Bible, and the company of mates?
I love monday mornings, because I get to read my Bible with a bunch of other Christians before they head off to school and work. We meet up at Pablo & Rusty’s cafe in the Sydney suburb of Epping at 7.15am, and we all read our own Bibles, whatever we’re up to in our own quiet times. It’s been a really cool little thing that started at All Saints this year, after a camp we had in March.
And I reckon it’s the sort of thing that other churches could try too. Here’s Tash Green, year 11 student, and the person who got it all started:
Matt: Morning Tash! Tell us where the idea for Monday morning Bible reading came from…
Tash: HOLA Matty J! Pablo & Rusty’s Bible reading I guess flowed out of our youth camp in March. @ Camp ‘Viva la revolucion,’ we checked out the early Christians in the book of Acts. We were all really encouraged by the devotion of the early Christians to each other and to the apostle’s teaching, and Pablo and Rusty’s was a practical way of us growing in our relationships with God, whilst keeping each other accountable. It started with me asking two of my Christian mates, Sarah & Matt if they wanted to read our Bibles together on a Monday morning. I think you were eavesdropping on our facebook convo, and gave it a big push.
Matt: haha, yeah I was eavesdropping … guilty! Isn’t it a bit hard getting there at 7.15am on a monday morning??? Do many people actually get there?
Tash: yeah, it can be hard, (especially if your alarm goes off 10 mins before your bus is coming like this morning…) but it is SO WORTH IT, when you get there. Finding a group of sleepy friends, who want to hit up on some caffeine but more importantly- dig into Gods word, that really helps.
Matt: yeah, it is really worth it! I love hanging out with you guys and reading on my day off, it gives me a really positive start to my day of rest. It also really met a need that I was seeing in Youth Ministry – to not just teach about Jesus and Christian living, but also to really encourage kids to have their own relationship with God – to get into God’s word for themselves. I wasn’t too sure how to do that apart from talking about it in talks and suggesting stuff to read. But this has been a heaps practical way of doing this together – we’re accountable to each other but in a really positive and natural way … it’s really normal now to ask questions like: Tash, what are you reading at the moment, what is God teaching you from his word?
Tash: Well at the moment, I’ve been getting into Solomon’s book of Proverbs, which is an awesome book! Although the content is really dense, and sometimes I go into overload mode if I read too much of it, its been great to think some more about wisdom. Wisdom is a bit of a reoccurring theme in Proverbs. A verse which has really been helping me lately from Proverbs is Prov 4:1 (or there abouts) “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” This has helped me keep my life in perspective, even when everything starts to feel like chaos.
Matt: sweet! And that must help heaps as you get onto the train and head into school, with all the stress of homework and exams …
Tash: Well at our camp, God rebuked me about how ‘busy’ my life was starting to get, and I was challenged by how I was starting to neglect God because of that. Pablos has helped me to start my week the right way, immersed in God’s word, which has helped me put everything else in it’s place- under Jesus.
Matt: Good on ya, Tash.
At this point in our interview, Tash had to leave to catch her train to school :(
The group started out as about 5 or 6 of us just sitting at the same table, drinking coffee or hot chocolates, reading our Bibles, and if we had time, we’d just informally chat about what we’re reading. Since March, it’s grown a little bit – a few All Saints adults have come along and a couple of guys from other churches are coming too. Some weeks we pack out the back room at P+R’s, other weeks we just fill a table out the front.
Amidst the business of ministry and family life, it’s been really helpful for me to be still with other Christians, and remind myself that God is God and I am not … and to take in some caffeine for the day.
So here’s an encouragement from me: if a few of your kids get trains or buses to school, and if they all leave from the same station at roughly the same time, consider meeting with them at a local cafe 30 minutes earlier, and get into God’s word together! It doesn’t involve any prep (apart from waking up, grabbing my Bible and walking to the cafe) and the rewards are huge.