college travels

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Ranch

I often get asked, so here's the answer: this is what I get up to when students aren't around -
Building Burgers in Camden!

Teen Ranch has opened a Burger Shop called 'The Ranch' (5 Oxley St Camden, between the new age shop and the hairdressers) and I spent the lunch hour rush working alongside Graham Poole (aka 'Dr Poole', husband of graduate Linda Poole (YWC 2000), aka 'Mum') making burgers. Which made me realise how relaxed and stress free running a Bible College is in comparison!

The aim behind The Ranch (in my understanding - which Pooley might want to correct) is to have a missional presence in the community and a context for teaching and modelling whole of life discipleship. The shop is staffed by Teen Ranch staff - Cert III trainees as well as senior leadership - with the challenge that if you can work out how knowing Jesus makes a difference to how you flip burgers then you'll learn a lot about how knowing Jesus makes a difference to every part of your life (and I guess the flip-side, if knowing Jesus doesn't make any difference to how you flip burgers then does he make any difference at all?). At the same time there's the opportunity and challenge to connect with the regular Aussie hamburger buyer who will come into a burger shop but not into a church.

At another meeting yesterday someone told the story of how the Mormons were forbidden from having a presence on a university campus in Chicago, so they bought a shop directly opposite the entrance of the uni with the aim of making this the cheapest and best place to get food and drinks for all the uni students - and as a result Mormonism boomed in that community.

So what does it all mean? (... I can feel a critical reflection coming on ...) Is the sort of thing the Ranch is doing an evangelistic strategy? Is it a ministry supporting business venture (it's a business that makes money!)? Is it a ministry training ground? Or better, it's all three, or rather, it's life - the full life, whole life, doing everything to the glory of God: connecting with others, being involved in the community, modeling discipleship, learning discipleship. It speaks to me of having an idea and giving it a go; of making decisions shaped by the Kingdom rather than shaping our view of (and involvement in) the Kingdom by our decisions.

And if the College ever goes under I can add 'experience in the fast food industry' to my CV.


  • I'll have 1 hamburger with the lot and tomato sauce. No fries thanks. And a coke.

    By Anonymous Mike Dicker, at 3:43 pm  

  • and do you want to talk about Jesus with that?

    By Blogger Graham Stanton, at 2:19 pm  

  • my youth group kids would tell you that God is flippin' awesome, that's what u learn from flipping things! (they wanted to call the youth group spatula for a week a while back - i think they are picking up my sense of humour - uh oh)

    Did you visit my mummy, her florist shop is the one next to the hairdresser?

    By Blogger gilly, at 1:08 am  

  • Gday Gill - I trust you resisted the name change!? 'Spatula', an example of the 'it's-just-such-a-weird-name-the-kids-will definitely-think-it's-cool' school of youth group naming, would be only marginally better than the 'let's-choose-a-really-gross-sounding-name-so-the-kid's-think-it's-cool' school of youth group naming (like, let's call the group 'spew').

    By Blogger Graham Stanton, at 10:06 pm  

  • Fortunately, i didn't have to say anything, they decided that it wasn't a good name by the next week. Wildfire instead - cause thats how they wanna see God's word spread.

    By Anonymous gilly, at 12:13 am  

  • How good is the works burger! They give you loads of chips too! I ate way too much there...

    By Blogger Shayne Crossman, at 7:05 pm  

  • Shane - The works burger is indeed good - did you go there on recommendation from this site, or did you know about it already?

    PS Gill, we pray that that's just what happens.

    By Blogger Graham Stanton, at 7:35 pm  

  • It was across the road from where Ruth had her 21st. Joel and I froze as we ate outside. Well worth the effort though.

    This post has inspired a second round!

    By Blogger Shayne Crossman, at 3:12 pm  

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