What would Jesus ... brew?
A Texas church is trying something different to attract new congregates. A pub in Fort Worth is home to the Church-in-a-Pub, where members of the Calvary Lutheran Church meet for services and grab a pint at the same time.
Heinze explained how the idea first came about. “We we’re looking for a place off site to a hold a worship service … and this place opened up called Zio Carlo [Magnolia] Brew Pub … they weren’t opened on Sunday … it’s a great space … they allowed us to come and use it as a worship space.”
The pub serves beer, but there are other options for parishioners. “They serve pizza and have craft beer; they have iced tea, water, and soft drinks.”
“it’s a way of reaching out in the neighborhood and just getting outside our four walls"
- Pastor Phillip Heinze
Heinze said “it’s a way of reaching out in the neighborhood and just getting outside our four walls.” He added “we’re not trying to attract new members per se, what we’re really into doing is connecting church people with non-church people.”
The congregation meets at the pub every Sunday from 5pm to 630pm.
The Sunday service allows the pastor to make connections with local musicians which he says was an unexpected benefit.
“We have local singer-songwriters that come and play their own music; it doesn’t have to be Christian music … so we’ve connected with this whole community of singer-songwriters who are also folks who don’t necessarily come into churches,” said Heinze.
Heinze says the Disciples described in the Bible inspired him to go out in the community.
“The Gospel has always been meant to be proclaimed in public spaces… the Disciples went into the marketplaces … in a sense we are just doing what the first century did … finding ways to communicate with others,” said Heinze.
Heinze shared that there is one financial benefit to having mass at a pub. “We do a get a happy hour rate on beer … it’s kinda nice.”
“We’ve actually had three baptisms in the bar … so that’s been really interesting too,” said Heinze.
Heinze made clear that they use water, not beer for the baptisms.