Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Smoke Shack: A Model for Church Meetings

Many of you know that I work at JCB here in Savannah. JCB's smoking policy is fairly simple: if you choose to smoke, you have to do so at the one designated location outside the building. This "smoke shack" is little more than a metal overhang where the smokers congregate throughout the day.

Although I do not smoke, my specific job duties have me walk near the smoke shack several times per day. I can't stand the smell, but what I see fascinates me. The smokers have inadvertently found a good model for church meetings.

Those who smoke talk with each other, stand around, and share an activity: they smoke. Everyone gets to participate. Each person, regardless of specific job in the factory and offices, is on a level playing field at the smoke shack. Little is planned; conversation is spontaneous. All involved seem to be having a good time. No one is required to attend. Rather, they simply come when they want to. The smokers generally enjoy each other's company. Everyone is to some extent encouraged through the conversations.

The model I'm describing from the smoke shack also sounds like an excellent one for church gatherings. How absurd it is that regular folks know how to get together in a manner that encourages the group, but the church generally does not. Most churches believe that a special ceremony is needed to please God. This could not be more incorrect. God wants His church to gather to build up the church. This happens through free-flowing, spontaneous, Spirit-led get togethers.

Frankly, it looks a lot like what I see at the smoke shack.


Jeremy Myers said...

This is awesome. And so true. Now that you point it out, I like what I see at the smoke shack too!

Eric said...


It is interesting to just wacth the social interaction. It is so free-flowing and relaxed. How I wish more of the church would enjoy meeting like that!

Tim A said...

The external physical commonness of fellow smokers seems to out power the amazing supernatural internal reproductive commonness God has invested in his people. It is amazing mercy on God's part to allow this complete reversal of HIs sovereign and revealed plan for his redeemed people to be corrupted so completely. He was merciful to me for many years.

Aussie John said...


The difference between the "smoke shack" and most congregations is commonality of purpose.

Steve Scott said...

Eric, the past so many jobs I have worked have had something similar. But one fascinating thing I have noticed is that some non-smokers also go out to hang out with the smokers during their breaks.