Actively bringing about much needed change in our communities and hope to the broken and disheartened.
Originally posted on Kevin Beers’ Blog
This July I will set out on a new adventure . . . a coffee shop church in Las Vegas.
A little background . . . I felt a strong call to ministry when I young and by the end of High School God had given me a dream to do church in a way that I had never seen church done before (or heard of it being done before). I had this crazy idea to open a coffee shop and use it as a place to hold worship services, to disciple people and to reach out to the community. Although I was ready to go for it as soon as I graduated High School, I knew that God was calling me to pursue a bible degree. I went to Houghton College and double majored in Bible and Educational Ministry and minored in Theology. I loved my time at Houghton and the way that God used the people there to further shape me to serve in His kingdom!
As I entered my senior year I was again ready to charge the gates of hell with a super-soaker and turn the world upside down with a coffee shop. The more I prayed about it the more I knew that God wanted me to spend some more time serving in a local church in a context where I could learn about church planting. I found a job posting for a church in VA looking for a youth pastor. Doing a little research I found out that current senior pastor at the church had planted the church 12 years prior and that the youth pastor who was leaving was moving about an hour away to plant a new church. I have now been at Christ Community Church in Williamsburg, VA for a little more than 18 months. It has been an unbelievable experience and God has used Pastor Randy and the people at CCC to minister to me in ways only God could have orchestrated.
Last May I began to hear God telling me that He was releasing me to chase the call He had given me in HS to change the world with a coffee shop! In my opinion it was way too soon. If I had learned anything about church planting at CCC it was that I was far from ready! I knew it was what God was calling me to and said yes. Through several months of prayer and counsel from family and close friends I knew that the city God was calling me to was Las Vegas.
Kind of the big picture is to plant a church that is intentionally focused and centered around tangible, physical acts of service and love to poor in LV. Instead of trying to have a “church” building – or use tithe to pay a church staff I want to use the coffee shop as a venue for worship, a place to meet, and a means of financial support. I also know that a good coffee shop in the right location can generate significant profit and I want to give all of that away.
The homeless population in LV is around 14,000 as of 2009 (2011 numbers should be out soon) and two particular groups of homeless have capture my heart. 1,000 or so live in tunnels under the city. 2,000 are under 18.
Why LV? Well there are really a lot of reasons I guess. My initial connection to LV was my former youth pastor from my middle school days. Him and I have been great friends for a long time and he has lived in LV for 8 years or so. He teaches a private Christian school out there. Him and I have always wanted to work together. The determining factor though was prayer.
The affirmation that God has poured out has been nothing short of humbling. The first time I realized that it didn’t matter how unprepared I knew I was – but that God was in control was in South Carolina in November. I was there taking a class on Worship and “bumped into” a man from Reno who has started 4 or 5 non-profits and when he heard about the idea God had given me for Las Vegas he immediately wanted to be involved and offer his non-profit experience to help get the ball rolling. God has continued to show me through server other “coincidences” – that He is 10 steps ahead of me and that this is His plan and my job is to remain faithful to Him and watch as He continues to orchestrate His plan for reaching Sin City.