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Even In a Bar

Story of Impact

Even In A Bar

Meaningful conversations of faith can happen anywhere.  Even in a bar.

Dropping coins in the poker machine, an older woman asks the beautiful young lady perched on a stool next to her about one of her many tattoos.  

Before you know it, talks about body art led to a discussion about the challenges of life.  

Irrespective moral and political opinions, both regret having aborted babies.  The older had terminated a single pregnancy, while the younger had terminated multiple.  It weighs heavy on their hearts.

That wasn’t their only common ground.   They also share a dependence upon chemical substances - the supposed need for which had landed them both behind bars.  More than once.  

Captive to the jail cell routine, they recount how they first learned of Jesus through their familiarity with the judicial system.  

Called to belong and sent to serve, a Branches church family member makes it a point to take the love of God to our incarcerated community members.  She had met them each in the process.  

Experiencing a 6-month respite from cuffs, cop cars and the local jail, the younger explained that she’s now desperate for Jesus to help her break free from years of addictive and destructive behavior.  

For that reason, her feet crossed the threshold of our church doorsteps a mere 2 weeks ago.  

Responding to an invitation to return and completely unaware of our vision statement, “We’re building a church that we can bring our friends to”, this desperate for God girl felt comfortable extending an invitation for her poker partner to join her this last Sunday.  

The promise to attend went unfulfilled.  Major bummer.

Though most would have been discouraged, she wasn’t.  The reason why?  She’d been in conversation with at least a dozen other family and friends about Branches, inviting each of them to check us out.  

Lo and behold, seated next to her on Sunday was a man who’s been scared to death to walk into a local church for years.  

Gripped by the reality of the spiritual conflict that permeates his life and the longing to be free of relentless internal demons, he acknowledged a desire to come back for round two.

As for her?  

Thankful that she can belong before her behavior lines up or her beliefs are fully formed, she’s motivated to continue having meaningful conversations of faith...