Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brewing a Better World (Part 1): Musings and Mission and Transforming the World

Photo by Jake Liefer
I remain obsessed with bringing the hope and wholeness of Lord Jesus to those who have been the least-reached by his message, least-reachable by his followers, and least in reach of his reign in this world.  This obsession has manifest itself in many strange ways over the years. I have become strange, and I'm okay with that.

[Read the whole Brewing a Better World Series here.]

Coffee is the latest, perhaps most surprising, new dimension of my strangeness as I try to discover new ways of . . . not sure what exactly.  Bosch said mission is about transforming reality.  That's true and that's what I care about.  That's the passion to which I've devoted the last 18 years of my life.  I have gradually discovered about myself that when I see problems of lostness, brokenness, oppression, injustice and the like I don't want to raise awareness about them.  I don't want to help out.  I want to change it.  I want to end it.  What is worse, I tend to believe that transformation is wholly possible.  

So, all this to say that I've stepped into a more active and significant role with Endiro Coffee - which my sister founded a few years back and which officially became a part of the Trinity family a couple years after that.  I spend about half my time now thinking about (and drinking) coffee.  I've dusted off and refurbished old creative, marketing and branding skills and am even trying to develop my palate so that can tell you with authority if a certain coffee bean is malty, earthy, fruity, honey-toned, or all of the above. And it's all crazy as heck because I had never even consumed a cup of coffee before I went to Cape Town in 2010 - but this all seems to reek of the Holy Spirit.  Indeed the more I meditate upon coffee and its role in my life as a missions leader (particularly while propped up the magical brown substance) the more I find myself in awe of the potential these mighty little beans have for the Kingdom of God in the 21st century.

So, over the next week or so, I want to muse over coffee and mission and do a lot of "what if"-ing - which I suppose is what muse means.  Here are the questions I'll be pondering:

1. Can coffee become a financial engine for world mission? 

2. Can the business of coffee itself transform reality for the sake of the Kingdom?

3. Is coffee the perfect Great Commission commodity for the 21st century? 

4. How do I put the terms "south-to-south migration", "10/40 Window" and "Coffee belt" into the same sentence and somehow articulate how big and awesome is the potential of this grouping of ideas for the sake of mission? (hee-hee)

5. Can coffee-business based in coffee producing nations be used for the mobilization of missionaries from the Global South?

6. Can coffee business put us on the front line of bringing justice to bear where it is needed most?

7. If I have only 6 questions will I seem like I'm not a very good Baptist?

I want to encourage you to muse also.  About coffee or whatever.  Muse about something.  Especially if you care about God and his Kingdom and its advance in your community and the world - you should definitely muse.  Because when you muse and dream and ask "what if" you join the faithful company of protesting saints and prophets who have from the beginning always been at the forefront of God's ever encroaching reign.  Intentionally think outside the box this week.  If mission is about transforming reality, it may very well begin with transforming your mind.

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