Friday, May 30, 2008

Experiencing our first Troy Night Out at the Pod

On the last Friday of each month the city of Troy sponsors "Troy Night Out." This is an opportunity for downtown art galleries, eateries, night clubs and various boutiques and other businesses to stay open later and wine and dine the public. Many daytime office workers will stick around into the evening hours and walk the city blocks that comprise the downtown business/arts district. The Pod is situated on Fulton St. in the heart of downtown Troy. Tonight was our introduction into this monthly happening. Business was a bit sparse but the conversations going on outside, as we sat along the avenue and enjoyed the balmy spring weather, made it worth the effort to stay open later.

I am reminded of Paul, who entered the business community as a tentmaker, along with his friends, Priscilla and Aquila. He did this for at least three reasons that I can see.
1) Even back then a call to ministry did not pay a lot, so he needed a trade to support himself so that he would not have to rely upon the money the churches had raised for his support. Like many pastors and missionaries today, he was bi-vocational from time to time
2) He learned to be content, whether abounding or abased, yet he needed something to do during his ministry down time. Hanging out with his friends and plying his trade provided an outlet for this purpose.
3) In addition to providing a source of income and an opportunity to hang out with Priscilla and Aquila, it also gave him and insider's perspective of the business world and direct access to the business community (aka marketplace).

The Pod has provided all of the above for this church planter from Troy, N.Y.
1) an opportunity to be bivocational, doing something that I have a passion for; culinary arts. Jesus is my first passion, my wife and family are my second passion, my CORE Church family is my third passion. However, like many Christ followers, I have a fourth passion. For some it is golfing or tinkering with cars or something else with moving parts, for me it is creating art from food.
2) Something to do in my ministry down time. I have finally figured out that church planters are allowed to do other things besides plant churches; actually, the "other things" often provide fuel for passion and make life interesting. As we become engaged in these "other things" we meet people along the way who also have a passion for the same things and it gives us open opportunities to share our first passion; our relationship with the living God.
3) opportunities to hang out with the business community, as an insider. Not only business people, but artists, musicians, city apartment dwellers, college students, etc.

In my ongoing effort to know Christ and to make Him known I am finding new open doors for effective ministry. Praise to the One who called me and gave me the passion to "Go therefore" as well as the passion to please the palate with culinary delights.