Worthy blog posts from Joe Thorn on the subject of “third places” and lessons learned. The first three posts are up for you to read.
Lessons from the Cigar Shop (Part 1)
“I have already shared that one of the places I hang out and study is the local cigar shop. I have not simply made it a “second office,” but a place where I have built friendships and learned a lot along the way. Yes, I share the gospel there as God provides opportunity, but it is also where I share my life with others. I and many others from our church are members at this tobacconist and for us it is one of the places where we live among the people to whom God has sent us. It has also proven to be a place of learning in multiple ways. During this week I will share just five things I have learned in the cigar shop.”
Lessons from the Cigar Shop (Part 2)
“…they didn’t only have me to worry about. After I joined 8 other members from our church joined as well. But this long-time regular at the cigar shop told me he was pleasantly surprised that we came in to join them. Yes, we openly talk about God, the gospel, the church, and the Bible, but we also talk about the Blackhawks, movies, family, politics, and of course, cigars. He knows my hopes that everyone there will believe in and follow Jesus, but he also knows we are there to be a part of something. The cigar shop is not a project, but a place. The members there are our friends.”
Lessons from the Cigar Shop (Part 3)
“Listening first doesn’t mean silence on your part, but in fact will require you to speak. The difference is one of direction. Your immediate goal should be to get to know people, to learn something of who they are, before dumping your life story or a lesson for the day on them. Listening comes first because people are worth knowing and because real conversation is impossible without it.”