One of the biggest setbacks of living in a car and traveling non-stop is that when it comes time to do work, I have nowhere to go to get away from the distractions and focus. I’ve always found having some form of dedicated workspace invaluable to my enjoyment and productivity in buckling down and taking care of business. For me, there is something that is just so liberating in being able to get alone with my thoughts as I write sermons, make phone calls, organize data, manage the finances, and just general tasks performed to keep on top of things. I make do with what’s available to me wherever I am: when in Hutch, I try to find a quiet space at Westside to work, in Kansas City I make use of the conference room at Glenwood Baptist, and quite frequently I take advantage of the free wi-fi at the nearest Panera I can find. I’m pretty jazzed about the now free to all wi-fi access that Starbucks has (finally!) embraced as we head out on to the road again.
Currently, since moving out of our house in Hutchinson and migrating to Nikki’s parents’ house as our base of operations in between trips, I’ve been able to set up my own workspace in area my in-laws were kind enough to clear for me. It has been put to use quite a bit in the last three days. But I really look forward to the day when I can have an office to call my own when we arrive in Manila. I know I will be on the go a lot there as well and will need to work wherever I find myself, but I find immensely comforting to know that I will have the opportunity to set up shop somewhere.
Back in November Nikki and I spent some time in California on deputation. It was during our trip that I got my very first experience of the grandeur that is IKEA. If you aren’t familiar with IKEA, the simplest and most apt description I can provide is it is a giant life-sized dollhouse, a veritable playground for adults. It is a furniture and home décor store, yet so much more. You follow a winding path that leads you through fully furnished and decorated bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, etc. that display their products in a way that you can interact with, like snapshots of your future perfect home. It is a blast. As we wandered through the store with our friends Jasen & Amanda, my jaw hanging slack from childlike wonder, we came across a room that I couldn’t help but linger in as my companions wandered on without me. It was a fully decked out office space with floor to ceiling bookshelves, a furnished desk and a reading nook. It took my perfect image of everything I could ever want in an office and formed it before my very eyes. Someday I hope to have an office like this that I can call my own.
I thought I would wrap up today’s post with My Top 5 Favorite Office Spaces that I’ve had the privilege to spend time in over the past year or so. I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting, so my apologies in advance.
- Steve Boschen’s office at Ocean View Church in San Diego, CA. (The epitome of both function and design, very modern and comfortable.)
- Bryan Franco’s spare bedroom/office space at their old apartment in Springfield, MO. (It just had a lot of charm. Sorry Bryan, I haven’t gotten to visit your new place yet, so I can’t draw a comparison. Mad props though for having the best non-church office location.)
- Logan Mabe’s spacious, eclectic office at Cook Road Baptist Church in Mansfield, OH. (Nothing says youth pastor like having basketballs, water balloon launchers, sledge hammers, and chain saws in your office.)
- Matt Adrian’s original office space at High Street Baptist Church. (Nothing beat hanging in there, shooting the breeze and goofing around; plus it had old school fake wood paneling.)
- Jasen Ashdown’s office at Arcade Church in Sacramento, CA. (It was pretty cool and hip; I enjoyed the sitting area in the front.)
Maybe I’m just crazy, but I think offices offer a unique perspective on the person who inhabits them. What about you? Do you feel the same way? Do you need that special place where you can get away and be alone to focus on your work? Have you come across any offices with unique and interesting traits? Feel free to share your office stories.