I hope everyone is having a good holiday season even though it’s definitely unusual this year. We want to say a huge “thank you” to everyone who has supported us this year. Navigating COVID-19 was a huge unexpected curveball. Your support is a big part of what brought us through this year and allowed our team to continue.
I wanted to share some highlights from this year so you can see the impact you’re making. Here are some highlights:
- Church In A Brewery launched in July and has met every Monday night ever since.
- A woman who started with us as an atheist began her faith journey and became a Christian
- We have established a small group of regular attendees from various faith backgrounds. New and lifelong Christians, Agnostics and even a Jewish Rabbi attend regularly.
- We’ve discussed evidence for God from history, science and philosophy
- We’ve concentrated on learning about who Jesus is from Mark Chapters 1-5.
- We now have a small nucleus of millennials who meet together every other Sunday for lunch.
- This year we had over 500 podcast listens. 50% of our audience is in the 35 to 44 age group.
- There are approximately 1300+ people in our online network. This is the number of people who have had what Facebook defines as a significant interaction with us.
Check out these photos from throughout this year:
Due to the nature of this past year, sometimes it has felt like we’re just trying to survive as an organization. It definitely was not the most “ideal” year to launch. However, when I look at this list, I can see that some truly significant things have happened. All things considered, we’re in a pretty good place to build off of. It took awhile to build up enough regular attendees for relationships to develop, but that is finally happening. Yes, our meetings and activities have been smaller due to COVID, but maybe that’s a good thing. It’s allowed us to get to know people better and have more personal discussions about faith.
October was a test for us. We were not having any luck searching for volunteers to help us reach millennials. I had originally thought we needed more volunteers to help us kickstart the younger community. I started to wonder if maybe God didn’t want us to find help; maybe He wanted to stretch the current team instead. After all, faith and feeling fully prepared don’t always go hand-in-hand right?
A funny thing happened after that. We did not find any additional volunteers but a few millennials joined our group anyways. Some of them can’t make it on Monday nights so we ended up with what we jokingly call “Sunday Club.” Then we gained several new middle-aged regulars on Monday nights at Church In A Brewery. Long story short, we didn’t find the help that I thought we needed in order to grow, but suddenly our group grew into two groups. I think God is funny like that sometimes.
A couple other churches in Kansas have been curious about the brewery church. We were recently contacted by a pastor named Josh in Manhattan, KS who is interested in starting a group at a brewery similar to ours. This past weekend we took a trip to Manhattan to discuss what we’ve been doing. Ultimately we’re hoping to create a support network of groups similar to ours so we can help each other brainstorm and talk through challenges. Meeting with Josh was our first step in that direction. He was excited about our brewery church and made sure to let us know that we’re “not crazy!” It was good to have some outside reassurance! We’re eager to talk to other churches who are interested to see what we’re doing.
With an unusual flu season looming, we know the next few months will come with challenges. During this time, we plan to keep nurturing the two groups we have and also try some new things with our podcast starting in January. I’m putting together a special podcast series for the new year. I’ll have more details next month. Thanks again for all of your support this year. We really cannot say “thank you enough.” We’re wishing you a peaceful and meaningful Christmas.
The Brewery Ministries Team
“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth– the very thing the whole story has been about.” C. S. Lewis