Where do you meet people by happenstance or intentionally? The coffee shop, the park, you local grocery store.
Do you remember meeting people on the quad or perhaps you meet with people in chat rooms or forums.
A common place is a great place to experience interrelatedness, and belonging.
Finding and establishing the Common place is the third practice of mentorship that I gleaned from Sharon Parks book “Big Questions, Worthy Dreams”.
Where do you do ministry? Is it in a church office, is it in the local schools? Do you spend a lot of time in a coffee shop or sitting at the local park?
I think where we are affects our ability to mentor those around ourselves. If someone always has to find you locked away in your office, does that give a sense that you are inter-connected, or does it show that you are separate?
I think that by creating opportunities to meet in casual places whether intentional or by happenstance, we create a time to show that we are interconnected. I have heard Doug Fields use the term “doing life together” more times than anything else I have ever remembered him saying. And I think it is important in a mentorship role. By doing it together we create a connectedness, a trust in one another. We are no longer great and powerful and small and puny. But we are shoulder to shoulder, walking the path of life together.
I think the intentionality of this also shows the community that you are in, that you are approachable and want to meet in the mundane of life. Perhaps you have a Starbucks your students and families often go to because it is in a key area. Well perhaps that might be a good place for you to be sometimes. It can give you 5-10minutes to have a quick conversation and share the journey together.
It is also an awesome opportunity to ask some questions. Sometimes I know if it is an in and our moment I can ask a question at the root of an issue and tell them to think on it and let’s talk about it later. It creates a powerful thought provoking moment in the midst of our life where we forget about God and important things.
I am not saying that there aren’t times we need to be locked away to get stuff done. But there are times, when perhaps our best work can be “just being there” in the common places of life.
How do you live this out in your life? What does this look like for your ministry context?
Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. You can follow his blog at: kylecorbin.blogspot.com or Twitter: @CorbinKyle