24/7 Church

May 25, 2006 by

Whenever one is down there seems to be a supply of 24/7 places to help you out with a snack and coffee.

Why can’t this be the case with the church? I’m not talking about a drive-through McDonald’s church, I’m talking about a jazzy, cozy, relaxing comfortable place. The type of place where prayer and reaching God is possible.

Many people don’t like the formality of the church or church groups. It just isn’t a convenient means to really pray and seek God. When you have an emergency and need God, you need someone somewhere who is readily accessible.

Ideally, I would like some low key, piped jazz playing while sitting in the relaxed atmosphere of a coffee shop.

Once I’m comfortable, I would love to find peace, chat with the 24/7 minister on staff or other Christians, and find God for the first time in my life.

Post By:

Keith Gardner

Keith Gardner grew up Baptist and has attended a lot of churches. However, he's never found a church he's looked forward to attending more than once.
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21 Responses to “24/7 Church”

  • s. zeilenga
    May 25, 2006

    Yeah, whenever I see a movie where some character drops in at a catholic church in the city which conveniently has its doors open all night, I say to myself, “we need to do that.” I am sure there are some churches considering this and some who have already tried. I think it is a great idea. I know that I would drop in for a visit after work at like 11 or so and chill for a few hours with God before I went home. Good idea.

  • matthew
    May 25, 2006

    While I understand the sentiment of a “jazzy, hip” place to go, I have often thought we should just be keeping our doors open to our neighbors? Couldn’t we be encouraging the consumer mentality by constantly trying to create the most appealing environment to hear about God? At the end of the day, isn’t becoming a Christian about facing the hardest stuff of life : That we are utterly in danger without Jesus? That kind of news doesn’t go down easy in any kind of environment, but the good news that ensues will make the weirdest and worst environment seem irrelavent.
    Advertising and good communication are key to preaching, evangelizing, and living excellently, but lets not make the mistake of living of the world, rather than just IN it.

  • Eric
    May 25, 2006

    I like the concept. It would be hard for some churches to implement something like this. My church has about 100 individuals in attendance on Sunday. The only “staff” is the pastor. I’d like to see considerable thought given to the logistics of something like this.

  • Todd
    May 25, 2006

    The book “Practicioners” has a chapter on the “Bolier Rooms,” places of prayer started in Europe that are open “24-7-365.” That sounds pretty awesome to me.

  • Josh
    May 25, 2006

    I hate to break the spirit of optimism; but….
    This concept might work for already practicing Christians; but I highly doubt that an unchurched person is going to head to church to relax. Whether it’s fronting as a coffee shop or not.
    Being realistic, the competition in this particular arena is Starbucks. That’s a pretty heavy hitter.
    This is not to say that it’s not a cool idea, and could be effective in certain areas. Like where I live for instance, where the only 24/7s are Wal-Mart and IHOP.

  • kevin
    May 25, 2006

    Red Moon Rising: How 24/7 Prayer is Awakening a Generation is a good book that gives an overview of the 24/7 prayer movement and a look at some of the locations and what they look like. I love the idea of being able to go to a church near me and pray 24/7.
    However, I think that concept is a lot different from what Keith is suggesting.

  • Carl McLendon
    May 25, 2006

    At University Avenue Church in Austin, we’re working through a vision process that might be leading us toward that ’24/7′ church. We’re located on the University of Texas campus and very near downtown Austin, so the idea is to build an outdoor amphitheater to host concerts, football tailgates, movies, etc in that space and to have a coffee shop that opens to the space so students and downtown workers can come for lunch, to study, basically hangout. As we develop relationships, we then ask our new friends to join us in local missions/services works for the homeless, the poor, etc. Keep us in your prayers as we try to discern God’s will.
    Here are a couple of posts from my blog on this possibility.
    Using Church Facilities for Building Community Relationships

  • Gene Mason
    May 25, 2006

    The idea of a 24/7 coffee-shop environment being called “church” to me falls a little short of the design and desire of God with respect to His Body–which is, I believe, to teach, worship, experience community and pray (Acts 2:42). “Come and sit” might be an entry-point, but I fail to see how it puts us closer to “making disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Great idea for a ministry within the church, but not sure how efffective it would really be.
    HOWEVER, we are in the internet generation, and moving more and more toward a 24/7 culture in general, and that will affect how we minister. I’ve been thinking along the 24/7 lines for some time, but moreso in the arena of “how do we make it possible for people to pray, minister, teaching, learn, and experience community with one another any time, any place?”
    I think that how we discover ways to push the church outside our walls and interact with our community and culture 24/7 is a much broader and more important question. Who wants to immitate Starbucks when we can actually BE the body of Christ? Now if we can just figure out how to make that accessible at 3:00 a.m. on a Saturday…

  • RC of strangeculture
    May 25, 2006

    What a unique fun idea…
    i think it’d be hard to keep to give it the momentum it needs to get started…
    but i like it.
    –RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

  • Carl McLendon
    May 25, 2006

    Gene, if we don’t have a relationship with people, how are we going to teach, worship, experience community, and pray? We must start the process and let God lead us from there. People are not projects, they are people. Our job is to show them God’s love so that they may hopefully ask to join us in our relationship with God.

  • Gene Mason
    May 25, 2006

    Carl, your point is absolutely true, but you missed mine entirely. The 24/7 church as described in the original post seems to be flavored more like an imitation of Starbucks than something unique and effective as the body of Christ, in my opinion.
    If a minister on call 24/7 is a ministry within the church that’s reaching a segment that’s very cool. I just think that we’re selliing ourselves short if we create a all night coffee house to talk about God when the 24/7 culture is becoming so much broader than that.

  • Carl McLendon
    May 25, 2006

    Gene, gotcha. Sorry…I did misunderstand the point you made. Peace

  • Steven S.
    May 27, 2006

    Check this place out:
    I also know fairly intimately a local church that is using the “front” (it is actually quite explicitly about Jesus, however they provide a service of greater excellence than any of the secular clubs in the area) of athletic clubs to simply have an opportunity to live life with people in their community on a level playing field (the sociological “third space”).

  • Steven S.
    May 27, 2006

    In my finer moments I realize that I am to provide that “informal” and “readily accessible” place where God can be found, not (as I often think) by way of some ministry or building, but rather by way of my own person. It is through relationships to members of the Body of Christ, the Community of Prayerful Love, that people should connect to God.
    I am often guilty of believing and living differently, yet…
    God provides access to himself not through a place, but rather through a people!
    I have been stirred by Greg Ogden’s Unfinished Business; we see church as the place where we go to be served by someone who is paid to service us, God sees the Church as the people who (by way of the indwelling Spirit) equip, exhort, and empower each other to serve and save the world.

  • Gene Mason
    May 28, 2006

    Yes! Well said, Steven. It’s not so much about providing an atmosphere where faith can be discussed as it is opportunities for believers to share their faith with others. People, not places, are the soul of the church. Bravo!

  • Carl McLendon
    May 28, 2006

    that’s cool, I’ll check it out.

  • Brad
    August 27, 2006

    On the flip side, what’s preventing you from going to Starbucks (or insert other, more favourable venue — please!) and reading your Bible and praying within that environment? Why do Christians try to remove themselves from culture and then poorly replicate what culture is already doing? And then complain about how culturally irrelevant the church has become? Silly, silly Christians.

  • Steve
    September 7, 2006

    Why not just go hang out the the local coffee shop, and where a Jesus “something” so they know who you are. You could just buy people coffee, or hand out free coffee cards, and offer to pray for people, and just be ready to give an account.
    Low overhead!
    Good image!
    No pressure!
    Free prayer!

  • Ted Smethers
    October 8, 2006

    What about a space somewhat like described, but not 24/7? Has anyone created an alternative “atmosphere”, say with the soft jazz music, soft lights, candles, etc., with couches instead of pews at a traditional church? Then just pipe in the sermon either live or recorded? A worshipper could choose either environment. This seems more practical to me, but I don’t know if there is any demand for it.

  • Johnny
    July 12, 2007

    I am gonna start a 24 hour 7 days a week open for worship, prayer, resting, meditation, fellowship, baptism, communion, et al…
    Why? it is in my heart to do so.
    Where? Tulsa, Oklahoma
    When? Autumn 2007
    How? Faith and hard work
    Contact? (253) 218 – 8049 or
    DONT USE MY EMAIL preacherowens@yahoo.com
    I probably won’t be checking for any responses on this page to my comment.
    Thank you

  • Shannon Ray
    December 2, 2008

    I have had a vision for 3 years now since 2006, a place were christians and whoever wants to hangout 24/7. A place, to get encouragment, to relax, to be at peace, to get conseling, to help people, to have fun, make new friends and fellowship, to hear christian music, to worship GOD, to soak in GOD, to learn about the bible,to have coffee or a beverage, and much more. Its a place all about JESUS and living life 24/7.
    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
    “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;
    nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
    “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

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