Enjoy this detailed interview with Chris Curran, the microchurch leader of Beer & Bible. Hear what they're doing to connect with community.
What is your microchurch?
Beer & Bible. What we do is simple: We have a Bible study at a bar – Cage Brewing.
Tell me about the people you serve.
Our desire is to reach the group of people that wouldn’t step foot in a church but will sit down and enjoy a beer with us. Some of our members have been hurt by the church in the past and we are a non-threatening taken on what the church is. Other members have been away from the church for years and starting to get back into it. We have people from all denominational backgrounds: AME, Catholics, ex-Muslims, Southern Baptists, etc. Ultimately, we want to portray that we are real people who love Jesus and want to discuss His love while enjoying a craft beer.
What are the major challenges your ministry is facing right now?
Making sure our members feel loved and comfortable/safe, if they choose to meet in person.
What (if anything) is your microchurch doing currently?
We are currently meeting at Cage Brewery at 730p, and sit outside with plenty of space between our attendees. Typically, we do a quarterly Service Saturday throughout the year, but since much of it was during quarantine, we pivoted slightly. One quarter we wrote encouraging letters to residents at Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility since they weren’t allowed visitors, and another quarter we raised funds to donate to a family who has been affected by Covid. We are hoping to do our 3rd annual Habitat for Humanity serving day this coming February, so fingers crossed we are able to.
What is one thing that you tried that worked, and what is one thing that you tried that didn’t work?
I’ll say Zoom for both. We had Zoom meetings at the beginning of quarantine, and even did game nights a few weeks to break it up to have fun and laughter. However, our meetings didn’t last many weeks as people were getting fatigued with Zoom, so we ended up taking a break after 6-7 weeks of this format. I did stay in contact with the group through our FB Messenger group chat while we were breaking to see if anybody needed anything.
How have people responded to things your ministry is currently doing? How have the people that you’re serving seen God work?
In the summer when the Covid numbers started declining and the establishments were able to slowly open again, I asked our group if they were comfortable to meet in person, and a very high percentage said YES, provided the necessary precautions were taken. This told me that I/they needed human interaction and the need for connection with Jesus during this crazy time. Not only were we able to connect with our members but also the staff at Cage, since they are our mission field as well. Most of them had not worked in months, so supporting them is vital for local community. Since starting back up, we have had over 15 first time guests, some of which return frequently. This also shows me people are searching for Jesus and/or community.
What is one thing you are hopeful for your ministry coming out of quarantine?
That we have grown closer to God and reached people who may have questions about Jesus and who He really is. Would love to impact more people.
How are you doing as a leader?
At times, I felt burnt out a bit over the summer months and in hindsight felt that our break was a needed season of rest. Ever since we started meeting in person again, it has reinvigorated me for Jesus.
What is one thing you are hopeful for you personally during quarantine?
I hope that I can remember that life is not all about work, social media, and “staying busy,” but that we/I need to slow down to reflect on what God is doing in my life and how I am impacting people for Kingdom glory.
Is there something Jesus is putting on your heart to prepare for when quarantine lifts?
If I am being honest, nothing comes to mind, which probably means I need to pray on it.
The St. Pete Underground is a faith-based non-profit missional movement that empowers local missionaries to live out their God-given dreams. To learn more about the St. Pete Underground and Beer & Bible check out their microchurch page here.