After hinting at this for months it is now time to tell you all about The SHOP.
In the fall of 2009 while I was in China, my friend Alyssa was speaking in a conference about prayer and worship and she said, "When we pray for our cities it changes the atmosphere." Right then I saw a picture in my mind of a map of Seattle covered with glowing dots, the dots were houses of prayer, and the glory of God was coming down out of heaven onto the houses of prayer. Then it spread out connecting with each other changing the city from a city of darkness to a city of light.
The next thing I heard was, "Do it." I said to the Lord, "God, if you want me to do this you need to show me how." The rest of the trip he gave me strategy for what is now called The SHOP.
What is the SHOP exactly? At the most simplistic level it is believers living in authentic community with their lives centered around loving Jesus and seeing the love for the Lord transform Seattle. But what does that actually look like?
The three forms of the SHOP are: Community houses, The coffee shop, and The corporate Prayer room.
First the community. Everything in the Kingdom of God starts with Community, from the creation of the world to the SHOP. What we are going to do is get a house and live in, turn one room into a prayer room and go after true community, not just co-habitation. It is one thing to get a bunch of people to live together, frats do that, this is about being real raw and deep with each other. Laying down our lives to see each others dreams come to pass, encouraging and sharpening each other in our faith. The big thing here is community, calling in our neighbors and letting them know about the love of God by actually loving them.
Then there is the coffee shop. The last thing Seattle needs is a mediocre coffee ministry. Our first priority beyond even lots of ministry, is being the best. As a cafe in Seattle we want to have the highest quality in everything we do, from who we get our beans from too the roast all the way to pouring a perfect latte. Every cup is prayed over and all of our baristas will be trained on how to pull a perfect shot every time and how to hear the voice of the Lord. Attached to the cafe will be a prayer room, when the cafe is open the prayer room is open, and we will have people always in the prayer room singing songs to the Lord changing the atmosphere in the area. Then when some one comes into the cafe and gets their latte some one can give them a word from the Lord, then lead them to Jesus and right there in the cafe connect them to a community of people that will disciple them.
Discipleship is really at the heart and core of the SHOP. Teaching other people the teachings of Jesus and how to teach it to others is what Christianity is about. Its the model Jesus used, He got 12 knuckle heads taught them all he could over three years, died, rose and said now go teach everyone else. Thats what we want to do, Teach everyone about Jesus. But if only one person does it on their own the task is too big. So we get it smaller by multiplying ourselves.
Lastly is the corporate prayer room. This will be a place in the city that will be open fully to the public 24/7. The goal is to get 24/7 Prayer and worship shifting the spiritual atmosphere of the city.
Thats what the SHOP is all about.