By Amy Thompson
We are all called to be in relationship with God. We are called to be active in the world sharing God’s love with others. Sometimes it is difficult to respond to the second call. We sometimes do not know where to start. Our own uncertainty about identifying and using our gifts and talents leaves us sitting in the pew. Our own discomfort in trying something new keeps us from reaching out. Growing in our own discipleship means taking time to explore our gifts, our passions and our opportunities. Helping others grow in their relationship with God means exploring those areas with them.
5 Cups of Coffee is a tool available for you and others to explore God’s call for your life and your discipleship. This tool can be found on the conference website at www.moumethodist.org/5CupsofCoffee. You can begin with a cup of coffee or tea or soda or lemonade or whatever your favorite drink is. With each cup, you can have a conversation. The five conversation starters center around knowing God, identifying your gifts, finding your passion, seeking spiritual growth and discovering opportunities. These conversations may be helpful for you in growing in your own discipleship or may be helpful for someone new to the faith to define how he can respond to God’s call on his life.
5 Cups of Coffee can be used in many ways. At Annual Conference the laity in attendance had an opportunity to be in conversation with other laity from their district using the conversation starters. Over 500 leaders from our local churches accepted the challenge of working through some of the questions in their small groups. As the interactions began, some uncomfortableness was observed, but as time moved on you could hear laughter, see smiles and feel the energy building in the rooms.
First, I encourage you to seek the tool out on the conference website, or talk with your lay delegate to annual conference as she or he should have a copy. Second, I encourage you to try using the conversation starters as part of your daily devotional over the course of the week. Practice reading and answering the questions as part of your own discipleship growth. Discover something new about yourself. Other ways to use the 5 Cups might be with a small group, youth group or the leadership team at your church. Practice using the conversation starters with other leaders to prepare yourself to engage with someone you may not know.
Lastly, I invite you to pray about asking someone to join you for 5 Cups. The Spirit will nudge you towards someone in your church or in your community. Invite him for coffee, and start anywhere with the questions. Help someone discover opportunities or passions or gifts that can be used for God’s Kingdom, which in turn will bring joy for that person.
As I think about multiplying God’s Kingdom, I wonder what will happen in communities across Missouri as you begin to have conversations with others about responding to God’s call. If someone in every church in our conference had a conversation, that would be around 780 new people living into their call. What a difference that begins to make in God’s Kingdom!