I once heard a pastor say he'd noticed that church planters always feel called to the wealthy suburbs. They never seem to want to share the gospel in poor areas. I guess I'm the exception. Take a look at these statistics on the area we serve...
- Median income is 23% lower than the city
- Mortality rate is almost 50% higher than the city
- Minority population is over 50% higher than the city at large
- The area has the busiest police station in town
- Education achievement is the lowest in the city
--Statistics from Willamette Week article here
Our church meets in and owns a coffee shop that serves as a local mission outpost. On Sunday, I'm the pastor. The rest of the week, the barista...
Less than half a mile away is a peep show, attached to a porn shop. About the same distance, there are two high schools. Drug and prostitution deals are not uncommon at the bus stop in front of our shop.
Every day, people come in to get coffee and chat. Some know they're talking to a pastor, many don't. Over time, I earn the right to speak into people's lives. It's a slow process, cultivating tough spiritual ground, planting seeds and watering them. But it's rewarding, too. Our little tiny church is developing a reputation in the community as a resource for the neighborhood. People who may never come to our church come in to talk to the neighborhood pastor. As we continue to show God's love to our neighbors, the doors open. The light of the gospel is growing.
But we need your help. The coffee shop is a complete failure of a business. Exactly as God intended. It allows me to develop relationships through deeper conversations. So the church has to carry both the rent and my salary. That's too much for a couple dozen people. We are making inroads. We are carrying the light of the gospel to our area. Would you be willing to help out?
Take a look around my blog. Read the stories of cafe ministry. If you see the value of the work we're doing, please make a donation, or better yet, a monthly financial commitment.
Send donations to: Renaissance Church, 1710 SE 122nd, Portland, OR 97233.
Or simply click on the donation button below to make a donation via PayPal.
Thanks in advance for your generosity.