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Coffee House Initiative aims to share Christ in non-traditional setting

MVNU students are constantly encouraged to take the community of faith on campus and spread it throughout the world.

The mission comes from Mark 16:15, where Jesus tells his followers, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

That is exactly what eight seniors plan to do.

This group of seniors is working on a plan to open a coffee house in southwestern Ohio after graduation.

Their goal is to share the story of Christ and bring people to faith through the relationships and casual atmosphere of a hometown coffee shop.

Senior intercultural studies major Paul Harding came up with the plan, which he calls “The Coffee House Initiative,” to create and plant this new expression of ministry.

Dey’Veon Carter, Zach Clark, Brandon Cooper, Cambree Moser, Dan Smith, Jenesis Torralba and Elizabeth Weyman have joined Harding on this new ministry team.

The team is composed of a variety of majors ranging from computer science to communication.

“I love that the people involved so far all come from different backgrounds and majors, but we all have the same heart for relational ministry,” Torralba said.

Their goal is to be a light to those who wouldn’t feel comfortable stepping foot in a traditional church setting.

“We aren’t looking to be a ‘Christian’ coffee shop,” Moser said. “We want to be a coffee shop that serves others, builds community and shines the light of Christ to people who may never have another opportunity to see what Christianity is like.”

Over the past six weeks, the team has met with District Advisory Board Minister Chad Current and started to devise a business plan. Students are partnering with the Nazarene Southwest Ohio district to find a space in the Cincinnati area that will serve as the storefront.

Once the business is established, the team wants to make it possible for new graduates to be a part of the operation. As some of the members move on, new graduates can step in and take their place.

Meanwhile, the initial group of seniors is preparing to go out into the world and turn this dream into a reality.

“We are being given a great opportunity to do something awesome with what we have been taught here at MVNU,” Smith said, “and I’m excited to be doing it alongside people I have journeyed with for four years.”

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