Saturday, May 10, 2008

Grace = making allowances for human error

In the process of getting the Pod Coffee House up and running I have run up against several incidents of human error that have caused me to nearly loose my cool. After spending the past two days with plumbers who had installed our three-bay sink and grease trap, along with a smaller hand washing sink, I thought we were good to go. A code enforcement inspector came by yesterday and said we were good to go.

Today it was the county health department's turn to inspect our storefront turned coffee house. Come to find out, our plumbers failed to install the required air interceptors on each of the three drains on the three-bay sink. According to the health inspector:
  1. The plumber should have known to install these interceptors
  2. The city code enforcement officer should have caught this when he inspected the three bay sink
  3. We still can't open until this issue is resoved

I called the plumber, who can't come until Monday. So, a few more days of delay. But, we will still open for will just be a day or two extra.

Whose fault is it? I could point fingers. I could get angry. I could call the plumber and yell at him. But then there is grace. Jesus forgave my debt of sin, so I think I can and should overlook human error when it turns my way.

You may ask, "What does all of this have to do with church planting?"

Well, for one, I have access to a several new communities of people; the community of small business owners who occupy the storefronts that make-up Troy's downtown district.

There's Adam, a young man who opened "Oliver's Naturals" (an organic/Vegan eatery). Then there is Rick Brown, who owns a Jamaican/Caribbean restaurant a few doors down from the Pod. There are three ladies who work in a beauty salon next door to the Pod, and Mike and Sammy who work in the corner deli-grocery located at the end of out market block. Across the street from our row of storefronts there is a comic book and gaming store, where several people gather daily to trade comic books, gaming cards, electronic games , etc. Then there is the infamous "Night Owl News" which has graced the corner of 4th and Fulton for many years. Tucked in between these stores is the Fulton St. art gallery.

There are also the people who live in the apartments located in the three floors above our storefront...24 apartments in all. Two of the upstairs tenants that I have met so far; Scott ( a 38 year old, handicapped man who works at a nearby sub shop)., and Charles, a 43 year old taxi-cab driver who lives upstairs with his wife and 12 year old son.

God has been expanding the burden and vision beyond the North Central neighborhood we started in just over two years ago. I am excited to see what God will do through the Pod Coffee House as this church planter seeks to make His name known in the heart of the city.