Today is a big milestone in Castle Church’s young history. After dozens of sleepless nights, hundreds of prayers, and thousands of words of support and encouragement from family and friends, today, we
signed on the dotted line beneath Castle Church’s permanent address!
They say that most people, in order to feel comfortable following through on a new idea, need to hear from ten cheerleaders for every naysayer. In other words, unless we are one of those rare, intrepid souls who just likes breaking from the clan and doing something different for its own sake, then ten people need to tell us, “Yes, I think that’s a great idea” for every one who doesn’t, or else our visions and insights for how to make the world a better place to live are likely to be swallowed by our own insecurities.
If this common leadership maxim holds true for even small decisions, like where to put the water cooler around an office place or what’s a more engaging way to lead Vacation Bible School, then how much more, if the decision is to leave comfortable, well-paying careers in order to pursue an idea so untried that most investors and city zoning officials don’t even have a category for it?
That’s the plunge that Aaron and I took, it seems like ages ago, when we looked around at some of the pub and café ministries taking shape around the country as well as our own burgeoning group of homebrew enthusiasts, and said to each other, what if we did this but bigger and better and with more skin in the game? What if the ministry actually owned the space? What if church offerings went directly outside our doors to help the community rather than just having to pay for facilities and overhead? What if people were unintimidated to cross the threshold of a sanctuary because the sanctuary was their favorite taproom?
With a coffer full of nothing but these sorts of questions and no tested business models to draft off of, we calmly sat down with our (in retrospect, almost laughably) forbearing wives, and told them (or beseeched them) that this was the vision on which we would like to stake our futures.
There was really no reason to believe it was doable except that, experienced disciples will understand, sometimes when an idea seems crazy enough, that might just mean it’s of the Holy Spirit.
Well, at the time of writing, our massive fundraising goals have been exceeded with the help of amazing individuals who have been with this vision since the beginning and faithful supporters both locally and nationwide whom we’ll maybe never know; our brewing system is currently under fabrication, our architectural designs are complete, permitting and licensing paperwork has been filed, and our worshipping community is growing up week by week right alongside the 11,000 SQFT facility that will serve as eventual home.
Now, as the Advent season of anticipation comes to a close, Aaron and I, on behalf of our saintly wives and the Castle Church council and brewery board, would like to thank all of you—the ten to one ratio of people who immediately connected with this vision, saw the dream for what it could be, and supported us with prayers, words of encouragement, and hard earned dollars.
As you read this, maybe crack open a beer and toast with us to all of those who will encounter God’s unconditional grace in this new model of church that just might be crazy enough to work.
Cheers and Peace,
Aaron and Jared
6820 Hoffner Ave.
On how Castle Church is stirring up a movement from a brewery in Florida.