Opening a coffeehouse may seem an unlikely action for a church, but that’s what Alameda (Calif.) Christian Reformed Church did this past fall.
Crosstown Coffeehouse is a separate legal entity from the church, with its own board, but many of the board members are from the church. Church volunteers helped change what used to be a dark bar into an inviting place for ministry and creativity.
Rev. Dave Nederhood, pastor of Alameda CRC, said, “It’s definitely a place where Christians can serve the community rather than a coffeehouse for Christians.”
The shop invites artists, poets, and musicians to share their talents. A large chalkboard featuring “thoughts for the day” leads to spiritual talk as people share beliefs and concerns in a safe hangout.
There’s a story hour for children and their mothers in the mornings and a drop-in place for teens after school.
Nederhood said his church has gained a broader kingdom vision, “moving beyond ‘churchianity’ into the messy struggle of what it means to follow Jesus incarnationally among our neighbors.”