Project: So Shine Foundation
Leader: Tami Lakey
We seek to mobilize the Church for a fresh expression of the Kingdom as we engage our community where we live, work, and play.
- Bivo/Covo Business for Mission Models and Expressions
- Collaborative Methods for Increased Planting
- Disciple Making and Church Engagement
- Methods and Models for Mobilizing Everyday Missionaries
- Micro Models and Expressions
Big Idea and Overview
Our approach in our initiatives is to be practitioners that can then teach out of our experience. After attending Exponential 2014, my idea of church planting was expanded to include a missional approach – one that might not look like a traditional church plant.
Thus began a journey into a missional expression of church that led our family to incarnate in our context. That intentional shift catalyzed our nonprofit (that until then only worked in China) to restructure as a missional umbrella globally – including our town.
In 2017, our nonprofit purchased an existing coffee bar and used it as a co- vocational opportunity for mission in our community. We launched, with our proceeds funding an after school program that has now reached hundreds of families in our town of 20,000.
Since then, we have assisted with the start up of two additional coffee bars with strategic outreach initiatives – in Vladimir, Russia and in Wichita, KS. Three other incarnational co-vocational projects are in the works as I complete this application. They are not cookie cutter copies or a franchise, but are instead birthed in response to what needs the leader has identified uniquely to their context. They have our DNA, but are unique and independent initiatives that we have the joy of coaching toward existence.
Customer / Mission Field Context
We are directly serving our community in Newton, KS. We serve our coffee bar customers daily, but the overflow of mission reaches our families, students, schools, and the general flourishing of Newton through our work in the community.
Goals and Desired Outcomes
Our desire with our Newton initiative is to change the narrative of our
community by ushering in the Kingdom in Newton as it is in Heaven.
We are organized in a way that co-vocationally provides opportunity for mission and ministry while funding our ministry in Newton.
As tangible needs continue to present themselves, we are listening and learning and finding ways we can respond with the resources we have.
I am looking forward with GREAT anticipation to the fall of 2023 – when all 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in our district (approximately 2,000 students) will have been touched by our after school program. What can God do with 10% of Newton’s population?! He alone knows!
Ultimately, we desire to share our stories as practitioners to inspire and mobilize the global church in new expressions of Church to engage a lost world.
We purchased an existing coffee bar in 2017 and exponentially increased its sales in the first year – and then continued to grow it by 25% to 40% per year since then! In the business world, this is impressive and gives us credibility in the business community.
We have gained the favor of our local schools – even at a district level. I can easily engage any of our 10 building administrators, as well as our district leadership team, for the good of our students and community. I was even invited last spring to serve on a panel to conduct interviews to hire new building administration. We have that reputation because we have been investing with a long view into the students of our schools. Every day we welcome 50+ students into our free after school program and provide them with a cup of cool water, a free snack, and loving mentor volunteers to invest into their lives.
We have been approached multiple times by people near and far to coach them in our co-vocational approach to mission. To see two co-vocational initiatives thriving and reaching a lost and hurting world with the Gospel is my greatest JOY!
To see the Church use our coffee bar space as a safe place to do ministry IS tangible fruit of the Kingdom. We get to see people with passion discipling others in our space and watch God multiply their efforts with much fruit. I have many examples.