“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” YES!!!!

A brief excerpt from a paper I’m writing on God’s response to the poor. This partially  explains one of the reasons I am passionate about opening The Well Coffeehouse.  I’d be honored if you took a quick read and offered any comments or insights. From the beginning God intended for man to care for His Creation. This “watch-care” included care for the animals and the land. It might be argued too that God designed Adam to care for his only “neighbor,” his wife, Eve. Eve is traditionally blamed for committing the first sin that led to the fall of mankind. The first misstep (or whatever one might wish to call it), however, was Adam’s failure to protect and to provide care when Eve was in need of intervention. Sin was introduced into the world and mankind inherited a fallen nature that would continuously struggle with one of God’s most essential desires: care for one another. Many things were inherited in the fall of mankind but one of the greatest struggles for mankind from the first days outside of the Garden until today is the social responsibility to care for one another. This is an inherited flaw that is seen in the firstborn son of Adam. Cain inherited a tragic apathy that is revealed not only in the murdererous treatment of his brother but perhaps more deeply in his response to God that asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper (Gen 4:29)?” The bigger issue here is why this was ever a […]

Where Theology Meets Community

Part 3 of the journey to The Well… The Well will be a place where theology meets community.  At any given time, a group of students or theologians or disciples might sit at a table inside The Well and discuss the mission of Jesus while seeing an opportunity to push away from the table and embody that mission.   There will be communal studies of Scripture with the goal being the embodiment of the theology being discussed.  What makes The Well unique is that, because it is literally a “gathering place” like where Jesus met the woman at a well,  theology can be put into practice in the moment as “real” people from the community come in and out of the doors looking for “living water.” Let’s consider the implications of this for a moment.  You could be sitting in The Well discussing Jesus’ words about the poor and at any given moment have an opportunity to put those words into practice when a poor man walks in the door.  You might be discussing Jesus’ teachings about the inclusive nature of the kingdom and at any given moment have an opportunity to embrace the person who walks in the door who doesn’t look like you.  You might be sitting at a table discussing compassion when an opportunity walks in the door through the broken heart of one who has been rejected and abandoned.  These are just a few of the many ways that The Well will think locally about mission. […]

Turning Coffee Into Water

The Well is a strategy to establish a missional coffeehouse in the Green Hills community.  For more on that, see my previous entry here. Why the name?   The Well represents the mission of meeting people where they are just as Jesus did when he met the Samaritan woman at a well  in John 4.  The name also reflects a vision of being a place where the “living water” of Jesus is served.  The Well symbolizes the place of gathering in community.  It is a place where lives are shared.  It is a place where conversations are had.  It is ultimately a place where Jesus hangs out with “living water” in hand. The Well coffeehouse will be a community.   We will facilitate community through creativity, service, and mission.  It will be a connecting place. It will be a place where people will hang out during any time of the day or simply stop by to pick up coffee or a snack. Why a coffeehouse? There are several reasons. The first has to do with a very large number. $18 billion.  That how much we, in America, spend on – you guessed it…coffee. Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per DAY. The National Coffee Association reports that 56% of adults living in the United States drank coffee EVERY day in 2006. There are plenty of other things that Americans spend money on such as: $65 billion on…jewelry. $31 billion on…pets. $13 billion on…cosmetic surgery. But coffee is more than just […]

Introducing…The Well

You may have recently heard some talk about “changing the world” and “coffee” flowing throughout my social media outlets.   I am extremely excited to be able to go public with news of a vision that is getting close to becoming a reality. About 4 years ago I asked myself a difficult question.  What would it take to truly embody the presence of Christ IN the community and the world?  I passionately wrote about 15 pages of a dream to change the world through a missional coffeehouse.  The vision had been inspired by The Shaping of Things To Come, an incredible book I was reading at the time.  But I didn’t know how to do it.  All I knew was that the “how?” was God’s department. Three years ago my good friend Brian Holaway and I collaborated our visions.  Together we dreamed to start a missional coffeehouse that would seek to take the money that people spend on coffee and give it away to the poorest, most oppressed people in the world.  It would be our way of trying to live out the many things in the Bible that God has to say about the poor and the oppressed. This would not a be a typical non-profit because it would revolve around more than a business.  It would be about a shared community seeking together to change the world one person and one cup of coffee at a time. After much work it became clear to us both that the timing […]

So I Baptized an iPhone…

The mood was set perfectly.  Friends gathered around the baptistry as  I stood  with Andrew who joined me in the water to give his life to Jesus.  Andrew was about to become a new man when all of a sudden an iPhone leaped for joy out of the hand of the one videoing.    He was capturing this glorious moment in high definition on a shiny new iPhone. We all watched in horror as the iPhone hurdled the railing, smacked the floor beside the baptistry,  and then dove neatly into the baptismal waters.  I think it was actually more like a backflip but either way I’d give it a perfect 10.  Like a scuba diver, the iPhone submerged peacefully to the bottom, capturing every glorious second on its still recording hard drive.  I froze…for a second.  It was one of those, “no way that just happened moments.”  Finally, I reached down into the deep, rescued the iPhone, and handed it back into the hands of its owner who was as in shock as anyone. An awkward pause later, I let out a chuckle to break the tension that everyone felt over an iPhone that sought redemption.  Moments later, Andrew became a new man in Christ.  What about the iPhone?  Read on.  And as you do, let’s explore something together. What is the role of technology in the life of a Christian?  Does it help or hurt us on our journey? The answer isn’t quite that simple.  Maybe a better question […]

Escape Artist Christianity?

A few years ago my kids and I came across a TV show called “Masters of Illusion” featuring magicians doing all sorts of interesting tricks.  It got our attention so we watched for a few minutes and saw that “coming up next” was a guy who was going to strap himself lying down in a coffin shaped box.  That didn’t seem like too big of a deal until they showed the lid.  It was hinged to the box and contained 5 or 6 huge spikes that would fatally pierce anyone in the box when it closed.  To complicate things further, the hinges on the box were held open by a string that was attached to a fuse.  Once the fuse was lit, the man in the box would have seconds to escape before the string was set ablaze. Okay, maybe I should have changed the channel but by now my 7 and 4year old were hooked.  They had to see what would happen.  Well, so did I.  So we watched.  The tension built as an assistant from the audience fastened all the straps and lit the fuse.   We watched nervously as the man used his teeth to undo the straps on his chest.  The fuse was burning fast.  There wasn’t a second to waste!  He then wiggled, twisted, and turned until he was able to slip his arms out of the straps.  But the fuse was inches away from igniting the string that would release the spikes!  We squirmed […]