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    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Linda and I just returned from our "big hike" from Cusco to Machu Picchu in Peru. It was a great hike with good friends.

    While we were in Peru, we thought we would connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Cusco. There was a story in Engage Magazine about a project sponsored in Cusco, Peru called "The Meeting Place." It was a local restaurant/coffee house where Nazarenes were engaged in outreach ministries. Here is a link to the article: http://engagemagazine.com/content/re...ets-needs-peru

    We made the effort to go to The Meeting Place, but were disappointed to learn that it is now under different ownership. The Church of the Nazarene is no longer involved. I don't know whether the change is an indication that the project was a failure or if the people involved just decided to place their efforts elsewhere.

    I would observe that this result seems typical of my past observations -- When a business attempts to be a "ministry" it is usually not successful at either. It may be that a ministry can be a successful business (consider Joel Osteen). I have not seen a business operate as a successful ministry. It is true that my own businesses have provided significant funds to ministry, but I have never confused business with ministry. They are two different kinds of activity.

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    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    I have been thinking about my prior post. If a business directed all of its profits to charitable projects, would that make the business a "ministry?"

    In the prior post, I observed that I have never seen a business that operated as a successful business and was also a ministry. Obviously, to make that statement, I have to have my own definition of what is a business and what is a ministry. In my definition, a business is an organization that sells goods or services with the objective of generating a profit. A ministry is an organization with the objective of helping people who have spiritual needs.

    I can not think of a single example of a successful business that is also a ministry. Some would argue that Hobby Lobby and Chick File' are examples. Both are successful businesses, but I don't consider either to be "ministry." The businesses make it possible for the shareholders to be involved in many different kinds of ministry, but they keep the business and the ministry separate.

    In the business/ministry that attempted to operate in Peru, the model was to operate a business that didn't pay the workers. Everyone except the chef was a volunteer. The hope was that by eliminating the payroll cost, the business would generate positive cash flow that could be used for a variety of different ministries. The cafe got generally positive reviews on TripAdvisor.Com, but it didn't last long. To me, the obvious question is why try to operate such a business/ministry? Those who worked in the business/ministry as volunteers had to raise their support elsewhere. I assume that they sought donations to cover their living expense. So the model worked like this: The "volunteers" sought donations to cover their living expense while they worked without pay in the business/ministry. Hopefully, because the business/ministry didn't pay its workers, it would generate a positive cash flow which could be used to support ministry. The obvious question is "Why put the business/ministry in the middle?" The same donations that were being used to support the workers could have gone to the projects supported by the business/ministry.
    Thanks David Troxler, Craig Laughlin - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    I have been thinking about my prior post. If a business directed all of its profits to charitable projects, would that make the business a "ministry?"

    In the prior post, I observed that I have never seen a business that operated as a successful business and was also a ministry. Obviously, to make that statement, I have to have my own definition of what is a business and what is a ministry. In my definition, a business is an organization that sells goods or services with the objective of generating a profit. A ministry is an organization with the objective of helping people who have spiritual needs.

    I can not think of a single example of a successful business that is also a ministry. Some would argue that Hobby Lobby and Chick File' are examples. Both are successful businesses, but I don't consider either to be "ministry." The businesses make it possible for the shareholders to be involved in many different kinds of ministry, but they keep the business and the ministry separate.

    In the business/ministry that attempted to operate in Peru, the model was to operate a business that didn't pay the workers. Everyone except the chef was a volunteer. The hope was that by eliminating the payroll cost, the business would generate positive cash flow that could be used for a variety of different ministries. The cafe got generally positive reviews on TripAdvisor.Com, but it didn't last long. To me, the obvious question is why try to operate such a business/ministry? Those who worked in the business/ministry as volunteers had to raise their support elsewhere. I assume that they sought donations to cover their living expense. So the model worked like this: The "volunteers" sought donations to cover their living expense while they worked without pay in the business/ministry. Hopefully, because the business/ministry didn't pay its workers, it would generate a positive cash flow which could be used to support ministry. The obvious question is "Why put the business/ministry in the middle?" The same donations that were being used to support the workers could have gone to the projects supported by the business/ministry.
    I can't remember if I've shared this before or not...sorry if this is a repeat....

    Our district has been somewhat successful in doing both. It's only been 2.5 years, and there have been some rocky times financially, but at the moment it is going well. They own a coffee shop here in town. It's managed by our youth pastor and another young man who has been into the music ministry also works there as well. One of the ladies in our church does the books. Two families in our church put up their own money for a loan and also remodeled the place before opening it.

    The concept is sort of like the show "Cheers"--a place where everybody knows your name. The workers are paid, but the prices for the products are very reasonable. So far, there have been many ministry opportunities. It's great that we have two guys who are working in there so often that have a heart for outreach as well as currently having spiritual training.

    It's considered a ministry, but they do try to make a profit.

    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en...eGCmsQoioIezAK
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    Senior Member Lucas Finch's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorie Hatcliff View Post
    I can't remember if I've shared this before or not...sorry if this is a repeat....

    Our district has been somewhat successful in doing both. It's only been 2.5 years, and there have been some rocky times financially, but at the moment it is going well. They own a coffee shop here in town. It's managed by our youth pastor and another young man who has been into the music ministry also works there as well. One of the ladies in our church does the books. Two families in our church put up their own money for a loan and also remodeled the place before opening it.

    The concept is sort of like the show "Cheers"--a place where everybody knows your name. The workers are paid, but the prices for the products are very reasonable. So far, there have been many ministry opportunities. It's great that we have two guys who are working in there so often that have a heart for outreach as well as currently having spiritual training.

    It's considered a ministry, but they do try to make a profit.

    https://www.google.com/maps/uv?hl=en...eGCmsQoioIezAK
    This is one of my dreams. Thanks for sharing!
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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Finch View Post
    This is one of my dreams. Thanks for sharing!
    Lucas...I am with you! I have been praying and seeking about this avenue for a little bit.

    Lorie - Thank you for posting this. I had no idea that they existed and will be contacting them to get more information and insight!
    Thanks Lorie Hatcliff - "thanks" for this post

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Bentley View Post
    Lucas...I am with you! I have been praying and seeking about this avenue for a little bit.

    Lorie - Thank you for posting this. I had no idea that they existed and will be contacting them to get more information and insight!
    Just sent you contact info.

    Lucas, if you want contact info for those involved in it to get background information etc...let me know.
    Thanks Jim Bentley - "thanks" for this post

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    Host Fun & Prayer forums Gina Stevenson's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    The definition of 'profit' can vary widely.
    Do realize this. The why of "profits" in quotes.
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    Senior Member David Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    I have been thinking about my prior post. If a business directed all of its profits to charitable projects, would that make the business a "ministry?"

    In the prior post, I observed that I have never seen a business that operated as a successful business and was also a ministry. Obviously, to make that statement, I have to have my own definition of what is a business and what is a ministry. In my definition, a business is an organization that sells goods or services with the objective of generating a profit. A ministry is an organization with the objective of helping people who have spiritual needs.

    I can not think of a single example of a successful business that is also a ministry. Some would argue that Hobby Lobby and Chick File' are examples. Both are successful businesses, but I don't consider either to be "ministry." The businesses make it possible for the shareholders to be involved in many different kinds of ministry, but they keep the business and the ministry separate.

    In the business/ministry that attempted to operate in Peru, the model was to operate a business that didn't pay the workers. Everyone except the chef was a volunteer. The hope was that by eliminating the payroll cost, the business would generate positive cash flow that could be used for a variety of different ministries. The cafe got generally positive reviews on TripAdvisor.Com, but it didn't last long. To me, the obvious question is why try to operate such a business/ministry? Those who worked in the business/ministry as volunteers had to raise their support elsewhere. I assume that they sought donations to cover their living expense. So the model worked like this: The "volunteers" sought donations to cover their living expense while they worked without pay in the business/ministry. Hopefully, because the business/ministry didn't pay its workers, it would generate a positive cash flow which could be used to support ministry. The obvious question is "Why put the business/ministry in the middle?" The same donations that were being used to support the workers could have gone to the projects supported by the business/ministry.
    What comes to mind is Focus on the Family. It was clearly established as a ministry, but it grew because it began resourcing families with materials offered through its business.

    It may not be the same as it once was at its inception, but it was very successful on both the business and ministry ends of the operation.

    Perhaps like your example above with Joel Osteen, part of the success of the business may have been driven by the personality of James Dobson, but as an entity designed to minister, it was a successful business for quite a while.

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Dave, is it possible that the owners/founders of this restaurant just got too spread out? I am interested in contacting them to find out. It seems like his "motoministry" is still up and going. the article says "They also host a language school and a guest house" so it seems to me they were kind of spread out and not focused in on one thing. Could this make the difference? I also don't know how they planned on the business side being successful by only running on volunteers. Sounds like they were looking for big profit off of the restaurant to fund the other ministry that he REALLY wanted to do. But that is just assumption for reading the article and looking at the motocross website.
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    Host Fun & Prayer forums Gina Stevenson's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    We have another thread here that illustrates, as well, how this is a hard thing to do. Family Christian stores tried to become nonprofit (tho' it did pay its workers; don't know how much), & use all of its "profits" for ministry. Next thing we know, a year or two(?) later, they're closing down. Tho' in this case we assume someone will take them over & return to the profit-making mode.
    Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one. ~ Stella Adler
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    It takes a great deal of maturity to accept that trying to eliminate all risk eliminates life. ~ Susan Lapin ~
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    His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5 (NLT)

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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina Stevenson View Post
    We have another thread here that illustrates, as well, how this is a hard thing to do. Family Christian stores tried to become nonprofit (tho' it did pay its workers; don't know how much), & use all of its "profits" for ministry. Next thing we know, a year or two(?) later, they're closing down. Tho' in this case we assume someone will take them over & return to the profit-making mode.
    The definition of 'profit' can vary widely.

    Let's say I have a business that sells premium coffee. After paying overhead expenses, cost of goods sold, debt payments and employee salaries I have $500K left. My 'profit' could be any amount between $1 and $500K, depending on how much salary I pay myself and how much I reinvest in the business.

    Let's say that I decide to take a minimal cash salary with no health insurance so as to give the lion's share of net income to ministry, and then I am diagnosed with diabetes or colon cancer. How long do you suppose I can fund my healthcare expenses out of business income before it bites into the amount given to charity?

    A business that fails to reinvest will become dilapidated and product/service quality will decline. Additionally, a high-margin business will attract competition, requiring reinvestment in order to stay in business and preserve those margins. Yes, there is a segment of the market that will buy coffee from my shop instead of from the greedy capitalists down the block, but it won't be a large enough segment to keep me open if I run my business like it's a church. At the end of the day, customers want a quality good/service. If they are primarily interested in giving to charity, they really don't need to buy a cup of coffee to do that.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
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    Senior Member David Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    Linda and I just returned from our "big hike" from Cusco to Machu Picchu in Peru. It was a great hike with good friends.

    While we were in Peru, we thought we would connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Cusco. There was a story in Engage Magazine about a project sponsored in Cusco, Peru called "The Meeting Place." It was a local restaurant/coffee house where Nazarenes were engaged in outreach ministries. Here is a link to the article: http://engagemagazine.com/content/re...ets-needs-peru

    We made the effort to go to The Meeting Place, but were disappointed to learn that it is now under different ownership. The Church of the Nazarene is no longer involved. I don't know whether the change is an indication that the project was a failure or if the people involved just decided to place their efforts elsewhere.

    I would observe that this result seems typical of my past observations -- When a business attempts to be a "ministry" it is usually not successful at either. It may be that a ministry can be a successful business (consider Joel Osteen). I have not seen a business operate as a successful ministry. It is true that my own businesses have provided significant funds to ministry, but I have never confused business with ministry. They are two different kinds of activity.
    About this particular ministry/business, I have no insight as to why it changed hands or if it is still in existence at all.

    What does come to mind however is the situation posted elsewhere about the child care centers that were used to help plant churches or provide stability to churches (I am taking some liberties to describe that, I realize.) Whether it was the support of the larger church (When I went to the link you provided Dave, it was clear in that Engage magazine article, that that ministry and the personnel were supported by WEF and therefore, by the General Church as a mission endeavor) or funds drying up at the local level, or if people wanted an outdoor motorcycle experience, there may have been better run businesses locally that this one couldn't compete with, all of those things would cause the business/ministry to fail.

    From the Engage site, I tried checking out the links in the article itself. One worked, but it was only about the moto-cross bikes. While the page looked current, one thing I read was posted in August (but didn't say which year). The link to the restaurant didn't come up unless I wanted to cross virus warnings telling me that site was infected (so I didn't go there).

    All that said, back to my point. Like those child care centers and whatever happened there, this ministry may have lost its support from above because it wasn't doing what it was supposed to do (or wasn't focused enough to continue to receive support). Simple changes in a community might do that. Other times it might be changes in key leaders at either the local on the ground level, or higher up. (Having known government workers when administrations change, the new administration may think differently on the use of allocated resources.)

    Just some thoughts on the topic. Not trying to change this topic.
    dave t

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    Senior Member David Troxler's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Further thoughts on this-
    The Engage magazine article makes it clear that the restaurant served "American" food and was an anomaly in the local area as it provided service to a particular niche "customer-focused business."

    Its very demise might have been in the business model they began with. The article goes on to note how many people came from abroad to the region to, presumably vacation, or explore, or have an adventure. If this was the model, then a change in tourism itself could end the business/ministry.

    What seemed to be the case by the article was they used profits to address local needs, all good, but if there was no intentional connection with the local community in the business they sought to cater to, the very concept itself lacked proper context. It was to be sustained by outsiders, no locals. It reads more like a couple guys had an adventure someplace that they wanted to repeat and found a way to do that for a while. That's not a business nor a ministry, that's a pipe-dream disguised as a business/ministry, IMHO.

    The people who do these kinds of things now are setting up a "Go Fund Me" page and getting support that way.
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    Senior Member Lucas Finch's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by David Troxler View Post
    if there was no intentional connection with the local community in the business they sought to cater to, the very concept itself lacked proper context.
    This seems to me to be the key. It is the key to my expressed desire above to do something like what Lorie describes. It has been a developing thought that I've had over the last two or three years.

    I live in a little town of about 720 people in an isolated valley of western Montana. The "large" town of the valley, Hamilton, is about 10 miles south of me and has about 5000 people in it. There are several other little towns in the valley as well. The Bitterroot Valley has about 40,000 people in it, but less than 10,000 live in an established community. The people are generally friendly, though there is also an underlining sense of individualism and isolationism, and there is very little sense of a unified community. Still, there is a longing for community, as the bars are many and abundant. There is not really any kind of place to gather other than the bars, though.

    Two or three years ago, I was sitting at the Flying M in Nampa with some people, and I thought, "We really need a place like this in the Bitterroot." The Flying M is a popular coffee shop. It was established in an old garage in downtown Nampa. As far as I know, it is not directly affiliated with any Nazarene pastors, churches, or NNU, but it certainly gets a lot of business from the Nazarene community in Nampa. I've been going to the Flying M with people on my Nampa visits for many years, but something struck me differently about being there on this one visit. Nampa is certainly a different community than Victor (my town) or Hamilton. Yet . . . it seemed to me that there was something I should learn.

    I am not an entrepreneur, nor do I have any barista experience. I am simply a pastor who longs to find (and create, if needed) community outside of the established church that I am a part of. My current dream, if I could do anything and have guaranteed success, would be to open up a coffee shop in Victor or Hamilton and have that be established as a regular gathering place for people in the community. It is where I would want to spend almost all of my "office hours", and I would use it to connect with other people. It would technically, I think, be a "for profit" business, and, as Billy described above, it would be run in such a way so as to help assure its continued success and operation, but it would also serve as a vehicle for building community, compassionate ministries, and such. I'd even like to see it as the meeting place for an actual church.

    These are all just dreams and brainstorms that I've had over the last couple of years. Honestly, I am not sure of the likelihood of any of this coming to pass as my church is entering a transitional phase preparing for my pastor's retirement in the not-too-distant future (which will likely mean that I am transitioned elsewhere as well). But I don't often dream like this. I'm really not particularly creative when it comes to developing something new like this. The fact that I am doing so in this case, though, makes me wonder if there is something actually worthwhile there.
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    Senior Member Billy Cox's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Finch View Post
    I am not an entrepreneur, nor do I have any barista experience. I am simply a pastor who longs to find (and create, if needed) community outside of the established church that I am a part of. My current dream, if I could do anything and have guaranteed success, would be to open up a coffee shop in Victor or Hamilton and have that be established as a regular gathering place for people in the community. It is where I would want to spend almost all of my "office hours", and I would use it to connect with other people. It would technically, I think, be a "for profit" business, and, as Billy described above, it would be run in such a way so as to help assure its continued success and operation, but it would also serve as a vehicle for building community, compassionate ministries, and such. I'd even like to see it as the meeting place for an actual church.
    There is at least one coffee shop like this in the KC area. I am aware of two other similar ventures that have ceased to exist after becoming a financial drain on their church partner.

    As with any business, there is no guarantee of success. However, there are numerous ways to increase your chances for success.

    One thought experiment involves thinking about the advice you would give to a coffee shop owner wanting to bolt on a youth ministry (your field of expertise) to his/her coffee shop.

    Would that person have a good chance for success with no knowledge of youth ministry, adolescent development, the Bible or theology? Would you recommend that the person go to school to get all of that knowledge and work part-time in a church setting for a few years to get experience, or would you recommend that they partner with someone who has already made that time/money investment?

    I suspect/hope that the answer is clear that they would be better off seeking a qualified, experienced partner to build the youth ministry component, versus gearing up to do it themselves.

    Now reverse that, and it should be clear that you are better off partnering with someone who already knows the business side.

    (edited to add)
    By virtue of having advanced education in both ministry and business, I have observed that people from both worlds grossly underrate what the other does in their daily work. It's like that Dire Straits song where the appliance movers look at rock n' roll stars and say "That ain't workin'...".

    The businessperson thinks of youth ministry as sporting a goatee, wearing thrift store clothes and playing silly group games. The youth pastor thinks of running a coffee shop as sporting a goatee, wearing thrift store clothes and serving up coffee all day long. Easy peezy; that ain't workin'. Right?
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us wthout end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
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    Thanks David Troxler, Lucas Finch, Marsha Lynn - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Lucas Finch's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Cox View Post
    There is at least one coffee shop like this in the KC area.
    I have a good friend who is a student at NTS and on staff with New Beginnings Church in Lees Summit. I caught up with her a few weeks ago when I was out that way for NYI Leadership Conference. As I understand it, her church actually owns a strip mall, and one of the businesses in it is a coffee shop called Post Coffee, which is apparently owned by a couple of Nazarene pastors (I don't know who they are or what their business background is). She's the youth pastor for her church, and there is a non-church specific afterschool program for teens that meets in her youth area. (Their strip mall is located across the road from a school.) She doesn't run that youth program, but she's able to help with it and build connections through it. I was really impressed by the community potential that her church's situation had, and it probably helped to fuel my own desire to find ways to build stronger community connections.
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    Senior Member Craig Laughlin's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    One of our sister denominations planted a church in Marysville. It eventually decided that it's primary ministry was a coffee house called, the living room. https://www.livingroomevent.com/ It's very popular. Interesting side note it is in the building my church built and eventually sold to move to our current location. They still use the sanctuary space for Sunday worship and large group meetings. They turned the classrooms into separate areas to sit and talk. Based on traffic and awareness I'm guessing they are doing pretty well as a business. Not a very big church and I don't hear a lot of ministry stories from them but I'm not really in a place to hear. Depending on how you define success for the church portion they may qualify as at least somewhat successful. I don't know if they are a not for profit or not. I enjoy going there and it has been fun to go with folks who used to worship there. They take me around and tell me stories. Pretty cool way to connect with my church's story.
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    Senior Member Kyle Borger's Avatar

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    Re: We didn't connect with the Church of the Nazarene in Peru

    I have been a buisness owner and president of a non-profit. In my business, I could be gracious and generous, but I still had to behave and act in a manner that would result in sufficient income to cover our expenses.

    The nonprofit comes into play because I can invite others who aren't with the church to join me in helping others be healthy. The mission comes first and everything else is done to raise funds to support it. We could create shops, etc... to raise funds for the mission. All profit goes to the mission. But we can also ask for donations, grants, etc... to also fund our mission.

    The struggle for a for profit ministry to be ministry focused is that ministry does not always respect profit centered activities. A coffee shop needs to sell coffee at a price that covers all expenses, but a coffee shop that desires to exist for a different focus may be more likely to charge less to encourage people to hang out or to give product away. Needless to say the ministry feeds the soul but robs the pocketbook. If the coffee shop was a nonprofit that also raised funds through donations, then it could be more ministry oriented and less profit oriented.
    Thanks David Troxler - "thanks" for this post

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