2+2+2 = 1 Church Planter - David Kincaid - Lake Church, Clearlake CA
When does 2+2+2=1? The answer is at Lake Church. Lake Church is meeting in two different coffee shop on two different days with two different groups of people as one church. At our Wednesday afternoon meeting a group of people meet to further our understanding of the love story that is the Bible. We meet and go verse by verse through the books one at a time. As we do this we see people sitting closer to us so they can hear our conversation. There have even been times when the operators of the coffee shop have asked our pardon as they mixed the coffee drinks for the patrons. People come to us and ask us where we are in the Bible and what does it say. This is so different from when we first began to meet there.
In the beginning we felt as if we were likely to be asked to leave the shop if we were going to read scripture. You might understand the questions going through our minds; should we just leave, or should we complain about fairness to us in a free society? More than one time I watched the manager start to come to our table and turn back without saying a word. That was months ago, and now we are welcomed with open arms. We are a part of their motif, a part of what people expect to see in the coffee shop.
The second coffee shop group is made up of mostly guys before work on Friday morning. This group is much more laid back and we are in the, I would say, pre-evangelism, part of our work. We meet and talk about what is happening in our lives and how the world is crowding it. There is less Bible reading, but more requests for prayer. In this group we see some of the people that are being groomed for leadership within the church. There are a few of the guys that make sure they ask others to join us in things we do as a group, or as we "organic" church people call it, church. This group is very active in the care and welfare of people that are hurting. This is most interesting as the ones that care the most are probably the farthest from God in their life. They understand what they need, but as yet are still looking for it. This is the most exciting group as well, they are the most active and concerned with reaching others.
Coffee at Lake Church is a part of what we do. Through the two groups we are seeing fruit for the Kingdom, outreach to the hurting and a deepening love for God. These two parts of our service are an example of how Lake Church views the community. There are people that want to learn about God but can't or won't seek out a church to learn them. Lake Church gives them a way to hear the Good News on a more intimate level. This intimacy is what they have been looking for and the coffee is how they are finding it.