Six years ago I stood on a sidewalk in downtown Chattanooga with my wife and made this passing statement, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a church downtown that was a coffee shop and a hub for ministry in the city?” With wide eyed wonder and all the love in her heart, Kristia simply said, “yes dear,” and we got in the car and drove away. It was such a fleeting idea, that I didn’t even really take the thought seriously.
But God did.
Today RiverChurch signed a lease for a piece of property that will be the next piece of a puzzle that God has been assembling over the last five years. He’s had the box top to the puzzle all along, and guess “what?” Its a picture of a church downtown, that is a coffee shop and a hub for ministry in the city.
As you know I am part owner of Cadence Coffee Company. For a year now, RiverChurch has been meeting on Saturday nights at the coffee shop downtown. We have seen some amazing ministry opportunities already happen at the coffee shop, but now even more opportunities await us. Within the next week, an opening will be created between the coffee shop and an additional 1700 square feet of newly renovated space will be ready for occupancy. In this new space, RiverChurch will have a permanent gathering space downtown, where we can be actively involved in the life of our city. The additional space will be available to Cadence Coffee to use during the day for additional dining space, as well as a venue for concerts and other events.
RiverChurch is also teaming up with Youth for Christ, a new ministry to Chattanooga, but one that has been operating globally for over 70 years. YFC will use our new space downtown for training and equipping university students for ministry, as well as other events that will invest in the lives of future generations. This is the first of many ministry connections that God is establishing as part of that hub for ministry in the city.
For the past two months RiverChurch has been raising money to cover our first years rent, and the startup expenses in the new space. With some very generous gifts from people in our congregation and friends of RiverChurch we have raised all but $2000 of our first year’s rent. We still need finances for the furnishings of the new space, but we are seeing God speak to people’s hearts to help us in the home stretch.
Will you help us? The fleeting “dream” I had six years ago, is now a reality. I suppose it always was a reality with God. It was blurry then. Today its as clear as glass.
We have one week to bring the last $2000 to the table. Yeah, that’s not a lot of time, so you can go online and give at riverchurch.me or you can mail a gift to PO Box 22054 / Chattanooga, TN 37422. Designate your gift “DREAM.” Thank you for being part of our dream, and for helping us to reach our city for Christ.