My office for the time being is any trendy coffee cafe that has free wifi and the possibility of one free refill on the coffee or at least a reduced cost on the next round. Today I was working in Ebenezer’s one of the top three coffee cafe’s in DC owned and opperated by National Community Church (aka Theater Church) which is pastored by Mark Batterson. I’m planning on attending Battersons church this Sunday to worship with my family. We’ve visited Mark Dever’s church in the past and enjoyed it, as well as the Covenant Life Center with Joshua Harris and enjoyed them both. I’m looking forward to what the Batterson mix tape will be like this Sunday. I’m sure it will be very relevant and timely on the heals of big changes in DC and our nation.
Batterson has a unique multi-site model. His sites are hosted in movie theaters throughout the greater DC area. I’m not sure how Ebenezers fits into his ministry model picture but from what I can tell they use it as a “third place” to connect with young professionals working on the Hill as well as for smaller meetings like concerts, CD release parties and what have. What a great picture of the church being at the crossroads of culture-making except this time its not a steeple sticking up in the air marking it out rather its the sweet aroma’s of a vanilla latte made just right rolling out the door into the bitter air of a DC winter.
From what I gathered their site wasn’t overtly evangelistic, barely even covertly so. Rather they were trying to embody what a business looks like by follwers of Christ in the secular square. Sure there were opportunities to buy one of Battersons many books but there wasn’t bible verses on the bottom of cups or other things I’ve seen in Christian owned business like In&Out Burgers. They certainly had a diverse crowd in their from staffing to clientele while I was there. And they’re menu reads like an international market. Batterson’s church is seeking to operate at the crossroads of culture and as far as I’m concerned they’re doing it well!
Ebenezers has peaked my interest for what National Community Church this Sunday will be like. More on my Batterson experience TBA…
(Photographic art by ScanTheVan, piece called “In Ebenezers…“)