What to do with a good idea
To have a great idea is the easy part. It’s the doing which counts. As my fellow Evertonian, Sir Terry Leahy, observed “execution is more important than having a good idea.” Some years ago I signed up for a seminar on evangelism run by my predecessor, Eric Bramhall. (We look forward to his visit Sunday week). For Eric the first step for any church is to make contact with as many people as possible. Hence CONSIDER, our monthly magazine which goes out to every house in the parish. And people do read it. But it is even more valuable to make personal face-to-face contact, something which Cafe Vista does so effectively during the week, Tuesday to Friday. For a while church member John Shaw has been pondering the potential of Cafe Vista serving a cooked breakfast on Saturday mornings. Way back in summer 2012 his son-in-law invited him along with Joan to a Saturday morning cooked breakfast at the Tavern, a Mexican eating place in Smithdown Road. By all accounts, a most enjoyable time. However, it was only during a return visit this May when John, in his own words, “noticed the sort of people that were going there and I thought about the possibility of transplanting it to Cafe Vista.” I may have played a key role in this vision when in conversation with John I confided that my favourite meal was breakfast. John’s reaction was immediately to invite Jacqui and I to a Tavern breakfast on 27 July. I like that kind of response. And yes, we both could see the potential of such a ministry, not least when we saw the large number of families taking time out over their bacon and eggs (or pancakes). Yes, another great idea to join the queue of other good ideas which snakes up the length of Long Lane, disappearing into Bickerstaffe and the mists beyond. It is what happens next which is the best bit. Dave Gibson had a dream. In this dream John, set in some large place, asks the question “Where should I go?”, Within the dream Dave senses that John should go forward, to do whatever he intends to do. It’s going to be easier than he thinks. On the basis that this was an unusual dream Dave decided to share this with John – who immediately concluded that this was God telling him to get going with his cooked breakfast idea. And it came together much easier than he expected, not least when Tony the chef agreed to be part of the team. So after two practice sessions the real thing starts tomorrow – in Cafe Vista from 10.00 to 12 noon, something to look forward to. I understand that the menu will have five different types of cooked breakfast but it doesn’t include cooked fish. Which is a pity - because this seems to be Jesus’ favourite. In the concluding chapter of John’s Gospel the risen Jesus gives his startled disciples a cooked breakfast on the shore of Lake Galilee. “When (the disciples) landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” (John 21:9). “Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish” (v12f). I guess Jesus could have just as easily welcomed these awestruck apostles ashore with words of comfort and some pita bread but for some reason he decides to give them all a cooked breakfast. It gives a context. There is something about Jesus and food. So much of the Gospel narrative is in the context of a shared meal, even for 4000 or 5000 plus. That’s how those two disciples on the Emmaus Road realized that their travelling companion was no other than the risen Jesus himself. It was when they sat down for a meal that their eyes were opened. So with our cooked breakfast ministry. We pray that people’s eyes are opened as they start to eat their toast. For the presence of Jesus makes all the difference as we step out in his name. We rely on the Holy Spirit transforming a good morning out into an encounter with the living God. So what is your good idea?