Posted: 01/18/2010 at 8:24am
A Review of John Lynch, Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol’s Bo’s Café
by Steve Eastman
A lot has been written in recent years on marketplace ministry and church out of the box. Much of it is theory. Some of it is personal experience. There’s a third approach, and Bo’s Café takes it – the novel. It’s 246 pages of getting to know a guy with a control and anger problem, the people who lovingly show him there’s a better way, and how he starts helping a co-worker in a similar way. Imagine a non-religious relationship where the disciple graduates into a mentor, accountability does not result in life-long subjection to an expert and the seafood is always fresh and tasty. That’s Bo’s Café.
Steven Kerner is a powerful man at work, although lately he’s afraid his position may be in danger. He likes wearing suits. Steven has a lovely wife and daughter, both of whom he has managed to shut out. And he is a Christian. Do you know anybody like that? Although we’re not told specifically, it sounds like his church is too busy to notice.
As he puts off going home at the end of a workday, Steven stops by a neighborhood bar and grill. That’s where he meets Andy Monroe, a 60s-ish man who likes dressing in a Dodger’s ball cap, Hawaiian shirts and flip-flops. Steven doesn’t know it yet, but Andy will disciple him mostly through intrusive questions that get him to think. And I almost forgot, Andy enjoys a good cigar.
Andy can really be annoying, especially if a man doesn’t want to face his “inner demons.” But Steven doesn’t have much choice after his wife kicks him out, and he ends up living in the Marriott, long-term.
Steven does a little research on the Internet and discovers someone with Andy Monroe’s name was once a successful businessman who flopped big-time. He also learns Andy lost his wife, only Andy is a widower. Maybe they have more in common than Steven thought.
One Thursday Steven and Andy go to lunch at a place where they serve shrimp cocktail on a plate. It’s run by Bodinet LaCombe, who goes by “Bo.” You couldn’t call the people who regularly sit at Andy’s table a house church. They are much too informal for that, but they do accept and look after each other. One of them had even discipled Andy. It always comes as a shock that another is a pastor. He just doesn’t fit the image.
Without giving too much away, let’s fast-forward to the end of the book. We find Steven a different man, a little more like Andy. He no longer wears a suit to inappropriate places, but hasn’t yet graduated to the Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops. More importantly, he’s a lot more like Jesus. Why, he’s even given away a car to someone who appreciates it.
Steven’s relationship with Andy has matured. If there’s any submission, it is mutual. He even gets to bug him about his cigar, in an Andy-like way. The disciple has become the mentor!
Visit the book's website.
Edited by Steve Eastman on 01/18/2010 at 8:26am