Dreams & Visions: The Heart of this Partnership
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares,Acts 2:17
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.”
God has a dream of a world in which human beings were created as one family in his image under his blessing (Gen. 1:26-28). It is a dream of Home in the fullest sense. But soiled the gift of creation and have since made a much different world, a world under the curse of sin, where families divide and children are left homeless. It is not the world as he created it in the beginning, but neither is it this world as it will be in the end.
Because God has a vision for another world—this one—in which human beings are created anew in a global family reunion under one Name as we are transformed into the image of his beloved Son, “so that he might become the firstborn among a large family” (Rom. 8:28-29). It is the vision of creation as new creation, this world under the rule of the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.
And the Crossroads of this earth and that kingdom can be found wherever people gather in response to Christ’s invitation into His family, where all tribes, tongues, and nations can come together under one Family prayer: “Our Father…” (Mt. 6:9-13). At such a Crossroads, God’s dream of an eternal family is remembered and God’s vision for an eternal kingdom is realized—and new creation is begun: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!” (2 Cor. 5:17).
This, we believe, is God’s vision for the local church. The local church is an international scattering of “Welcome” mats, where we welcome God’s Kingdom on earth and God welcomes us Home in Christ. It is to this end that we are excited to be moving forward in a partnership with Coffee Oasis. This partnership will help us advance our efforts to move with God in his mission to welcome the world Home at the Crossroads of Kitsap County and the Kingdom of God!
“Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”Rom. 15:7
Ministry Partnership Prospectus
Contents: Below is a detailed account this partnership that is intended to help us share this vision together and answer anticipated questions you might have. It has been organized topically to allow selective reading.
The Ministry of Coffee Oasis: Coffee Oasis is a non-profit (business-as-mission) coffee shop and mentoring ministry that currently has six successfully operating locations in Kitsap County. In their own words, “Coffee Oasis exists to impact communities through economic, social, and spiritual transformation.” Their “business supports youth programs that offer street outreach, mentoring, job training, a youth shelter and youth centers, community and belonging to homeless and street-oriented youth” (see their website).
Crossroads Ministry Context: Crossroads’ partnership with Coffee Oasis will effectively import an already proven successful discipleship ministry, providing increased in-house discipleship training and disciple-making opportunities. This will reinforce our efforts to be a church focused on building people above running programs. People come to know Jesus through people who know Jesus, not through events about Jesus. God’s people are His only necessary resource for accomplishing his mission, so we have begun reorganizing to focus our efforts on “equipping” and “sending.” This shift in focus began in 2018, when we redesigned our membership process equipping and sending, and has continued with the launch of our new team-led ministry structure based on Ephesians 4 called E4:12 (“to equip the saints for the work of ministry…”, Eph. 4:12). The mentoring program Coffee Oasis operates will include training for mentors and will provide a steady influx of opportunities for relational evangelism.
Broader Kitsap Context: This partnership, as mentioned, is part of a holistic vision to mobilize the Crossroads community for evangelism, discipleship, leadership development, and to expand our public impact in Kitsap County, a county in desperate need of an increased witness for Christ. According to our local newspaper, the Kitsap Sun, a Gallup survey placed central Kitsap County as the “least religious area in Washington and seventh least religious area in the entire country” (article here). The Sun has written a number of articles on the impact Coffee Oasis has had throughout the county and beyond, the most recent of which reporting on a documentary currently being made on Coffee Oasis detailing their “labor of love” demonstrated through “shelter[ing] and advocat[ing] for homeless youth under its coffee house umbrella” (article here). For a Christian organization operating in such an allegedly irreligious county, Coffee Oasis has established a remarkably favorable reputation in the public eye, reflecting the name of Jesus with integrity while creating a number of spaces and opportunities for the Church to engage the world for Christ. The reason Coffee Oasis’ reputation is so important a consideration is that it will inevitably impact the success and sustainability of a church-based coffee shop (see below on “Sustainability”).
Partnership Ministry Outcomes: Ultimately, the intended ministry outcomes of this partnership are as follows: (a) to show kingdom hospitality and be blessing to our surrounding neighborhood, (b) to optimize our space for enhanced opportunities for Christian fellowship and evangelism, (c) to give us greater access to a demographic that is otherwise very difficult to reach systematically as a local church (homeless youth), and (d) to mobilize the Crossroads community for evangelism and discipleship through organic engagement and/or by participating as mentors in the mentoring programs.
Considerations of Lasting Kingdom Impact:
Missional Space: Opening Doors, Transforming Minds: Besides the added value of the discipleship / mentoring opportunities and fellowship among the Crossroads community, this partnership will transform our Sunday morning worship space into a Monday-Saturday missional space, simultaneously promoting missional engagement with non-Christians and hospitality to non-Christians. The simple fact of this partnership will imbue our building with symbolic meaning, sending a message to the people of Kitsap County that the Gospel is Good News for the world, which has been the theme of a revitalization process under our new lead pastor’s leadership since January. It will therefore become a permanent point of reference that, Lord willing, will help to transform the consciousness of the Crossroads community toward becoming a more self-consciously missional community.
Sustainability: The sustainability of this partnership depends upon the success of the coffee shop. Our confidence in the coffee shop’s success is based not only on our highly trafficked location with negligible coffee competition in the immediate area, but also with Crossroads’ existing unique engagement with affiliate and non affiliated groups, respectively Wonders of Learning Preschool, located in our building, and Kitsap County’s Park & Ride transit service, which shuttles around 100 shipyard workers Monday through Friday during business hours. These groups represent approximately 150 adults who daily step foot on our property, many of whom never step foot in our building (save for parents picking kids from the preschool). We conducted surveys with both groups, including the Crossroads congregation, and found an exceptionally high level of interest of those who participated.
What are the Costs Involved?
There will be no ongoing financial expenses required to run Coffee Oasis at Crossroads, and we will not seek to profit from their use of our space. Coffee Oasis will be leasing our space at a negotiated price based on the estimated increase in cost of utilities that will incur from running the coffee shop each week. The only costs to Crossroads, then, will be for the renovations to transform our lobby into a coffee shop. This will include changes in plumbing, electrical, and structural modifications. It will also include new flooring and general updates for aesthetic considerations. All coffee equipment will be a Coffee Oasis expense.
We currently have had two General Contractors come and are waiting to give us their bids. We will update you as soon as we hear from them!
How will you measure the effectiveness of this “partnership” initiative?
We will measure the effectiveness of this dream initiative in three ways:
- The number of Crossroads members who participate as mentors in the youth programs.
- Conversions, baptisms, and personal testimonies that result from discipleship and evangelistic efforts both at the coffee shop and through the mentorships. (We plan to begin an ongoing “Words of Life” video testimony series that will play once a month during the offertory. We hope to fill it with stories from this initiative in due time!)
- Potential growth of attendance, in particular with the hope of an increase in new disciples (converts), rather than “lateral growth” of Christians from other churches.
 The conviction to use our building to this end is largely based on the fact that God’s temple was itself designed to include “outsiders.” The “Court of the Gentiles” was a space designated for the people of God to rub shoulders with pagans. So when Jesus “cleansed” the temple his rebuke was not simply that the people were stealing instead of praying, but that God’s “house of prayer for all nations” had become exclusive to the nations (cf. Mk. 11:17). And despite the fact that in light of the Gospel the people filled with the Holy Spirit are themselves the temple of God, it has been common throughout church history to treat church buildings as the ‘place’ where God dwells, and excluding pagans from such ‘places’, thereby supporting the very secular-sacred divide that the Incarnation of God’s Son, his veil-tearing death, and the outpouring of the Spirit “on all flesh,” has decidedly broken down (cf. Acts 2; Eph. 2)!
 It was especially encouraging when giving the surveys to notice the difference in interest when people discovered the coffee shop we were looking into opening in our facilities was Coffee Oasis.[