Meeting Jesus in a Bar

Just a few weeks ago I went to a bachelor’s party for a wedding I was in just recently. It wasn’t anything too wild and crazy. Went to a hockey game, went to a sports bar and then to an Irish pub. I don’t think the Scriptures “outlaw” alcohol (or obviously I wouldn’t have gone). But I don’t want to talk about what is the way of Jesus when it comes to alcohol…that is for a different day. I hadn’t been to a bar since I had to go for my old sales job.

It was a sad night for me. Since my decision to get into Christian ministry, I have been around situations like this very rarely. I forgot how sad the bar scene can be. People lead lives that focus solely on the weekend to go out and get drunk. Of course they probably would look at someone like me and think that I am stupid for trying to live for God. They would say that it isn’t a very fun life. Let me paint the scene. I saw one guy passed out on a chair, others working on trying to get this girl or that guy onto the dance floor. I’m not going to say it is wrong to go to bars or to drink beer…I mean look at this story…I was at a bar. What I am saying is that I was shocked about how far I’ve distanced myself from people like this. I do not run into people like this in my everyday life. My life has relatively zero impact on the life of a weekend partier.

So you’re thinking…”okay, you were at a bar. So how could you think the bar scene is sad.” I find it sad that there are so many people so disillusioned and yet they are largely untouched by Christians who can give hope. I’ve heard stories of church meetings in bars in Portland. I know some people who are relatively outraged about this. This is because they feel the church is then saying that what happens in bars is considered ok by the church. I don’t agree with this statement, because as I think about my night out on the town, all I could see were people who would never walk into a traditional church setting.

How do we reach these people? Is showing up on Sunday and hoping they come to our church enough?