The significance of practical creativity is what defines business, culture, and even personal dreams. “Without vision, people perish.” Here at The Meeting Place, we are launching a new monthly media series called The Blue Door Project. Within this series, we will spotlight young entrepreneurs who’ve had the gumption to create and achieve big innovation all for a greater cause. Each month we'll pick from a sleuth full of these examples and profile them on Instagram and within this blog. We also hope to use The Blue Door Project to create transparency within how we give and distribute our donations with a quarterly update. So here we go!
Up first, for today’s success story we sat down and interviewed the leaders of The Initiative Production Company. Led by a team of 30 somethings, this group has chosen a different path. Each member works off raised support, taking no wage to do what they love; making movies that impact the world. So what were we looking to get out of this group of creative innovators? Three things: their advise on how to get started, how to work within a team, and finally, how to face and confront fear.
It's been said that everyone is on some level creative, but only a few have learned how to hone their skills, and even fewer, how to take those skills and make an impact. I keep coming back to this quote by Henry David Thoreau, “If you’ve built castles in the sky they needn’t be lost, that’s where they should be, now put foundations under them.”
Confidence is built within the members of The Initiative within the context of community. To develop, even in their differences, a few members of the group have formed what I would liken to a modern CS Lewis, JR Tolkien writing group called The Regents. This group started 3 years ago in the heart of Brisbane; the name being after the place they’d meet to write, The Regent Theatre. “With writing, writers block is caused by fear.” says Charis Joy Jackson, "The point of the group is to inspire each other to keep writing even during times of doubt."
Commitment to the task of writing, was the initial draw for the group, then providing a space for feedback and encouragement. For those of you who too, are writers, take this piece of advise to heart: Don’t stop writing, you will analyse yourself out of the flow and into perfection. CS Lewis said, “Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original; whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will nine times out of ten become original without ever having noticed it. "
The Regents now meet, here at TMPC on Saturday mornings, and we are thrilled every week to see them!
As a production company, when writing a screenplay where multiple writers are involved, preferences must be laid aside for the greater good. The leadership feels the team itself must agree on where they are headed first, then take premeditative measures to set goals in light of their destination. "Writing must resonate. If it resonates it’s grounded in something with emotion. That is how you sort good ideas from the mediocre. When you write a world you must play by its rules. Writing a screenplay is much different, it’s visual. Know your craft, and when breaking the rules do it purposefully and not accidentally, bringing attention to the audience.” Jason Solari
Our final question for The Initiative Pro was: What advise would you give to young creatives on facing the obstacle of fear? Fear has many faces: success, failure, not being enough… it has in fact slain many creatives. Their advise? Process, and air out an idea with a group of trusted friends. Then move on to people outside your creative circle, and even outside your preferred style for honest feedback. You know that you’ve found a winning idea when you, your harshest critic, can speak out an idea, and see that the feedback is the response you were hoping to get: impact. “Just try. You’ll never know what you’re capable of. If you have the fear of measuring up, come to the writers group!” Charis Jackson.
"Confidence comes with time, and seeing people respond to you. Do it. Try it. Learn. Try again. I love this quote by Leonardo Da Vinci, 'Art is never finished, only abandoned.'" Brenden Bell
"Fear will always be your companion. When you believe in it it will destroy you. Do film, don’t just talk about it. Creative people move forward. If you aren’t moving it will kill your creativity.” Jason Solari
Here at TMPC we toast the work, and the writing styles of The Initiative Production Company. In selecting our first group to spotlight, the word "visioneering" came to mind. This means a clear mental picture of what could be and the conviction that it should be. Having heard and experienced the back story of the groups first full length feature film, The Umbrella, there is no more fitting a word. Finally, the group recently finished filming their second feature film, The Out of the Woods Project. This film is about a man suffering from feeling lost in the woods of his own life and fighting to keep the one thing that’s ever mattered to him, his family. If you like what you’ve heard, or if your interested in their latest project, check out their website, https://theinitiativepro.wordpress.com. theinitiativepro.wordpress.com
Meet Kalli Hendrickson, our fearless leader! Kalli has been with TMPC since the very beginning. She has been moving mountains all the way from Montana to Mitchelton. She has an undeniable passion for coffee, but an even greater passion for enabling people and that is evident in all she does. Here is what she has to say about our internship program...
Overview: The Meeting Place Cafe has two influxes of interns, one in January and one in June. The cafe internship is designed to teach people how to run a cafe that is both a business and a ministry. January’s internship covers more in depth starting a cafe and managing the business. June’s will cover how to take a functioning cafe and add a missions focus to what we do. The framework of both runs under the wing of YWAM Brisbane. Interns, therefore are required to live and volunteer inside of this missional community.
What I’ve seen it doing: It’s been 4 years since TMPC opened, and since then, two internships have run. Both were designed with the goal of imparting the skill for opening a mission focused cafe. Within themselves, both programs were designed with the people participating in mind. What I’ve seen this internship do in short is a lot like the following quote: “If you have built castles in the sky your work need not be lost: that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”
I believe in harnessing the creativity and desire young people have today to influence the world through the cafe culture. Through this internship, people learn how to think business management, team culture, and quality hospitality skills as well as feel the weight and time management of their dream before it costs them anything. It’s great preparation, and great for people who have ideas but need to learn follow through in a place where feedback can be given and leadership skills can develop.
What it means to me: Honestly, having worked in missions almost 6 years now. I believe in influencing the world with young people: to do that, however, changes need to be made to existing projects and new ideas need to be given. I love out of the box ideas! 4 years ago when the concept for the Meeting Place Café was introduced to me…I knew: this could be a new face for a mission focused community.
My desire is to meet young people where they are, and equip them to know who they are, know who God is, and know what it means to live a life of influence, for this place, this close friendship is where we were created to live from. I see in cafe’s the same needs being met that are met in churches. Only instead of a pastor, there are one-on-one deep and meaningful conversations; instead of pews, there are couches and tables; instead of wine and unleavened bread communion, there is fellowship over bagels and coffee.
I latched onto the idea of a business and ministry driven cafe because I believe that relationship is the only way people heal, and find the community of support they need to even let Jesus in. I followed through on it because I saw the influence it had. High Schoolers, up the road coming to hang out over a thick shake because it’s a safe place for them to be; our people going to their games, awards nights, and concerts because of friendships made. It’s the simple choices we make everyday relationally and where we give our time that make the difference. I keep at it because I see that working here. The interns that come, come young, full of belief, and full of reasons they need community too! When they complete the program, they change into influencers. Those that join this team go back home and whatever they join, they influence with the same tools they learned here. Some will start their own cafe’s, some realise or clarify why they want to influence the world and change direction. Either way, helping people find themselves, and harness their influence…that is my "yes!".
If you are interested in learning more about The Meeting Place Café or our internship program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org click here to find out more!
The Firm Foundations Project was a heart check. After stewarding and maintaining the logistical side of The Meeting Place Cafe, we were able to set it on autopilot and bring ministry into the lab for work. By prioritising what we believe in and value, we became equipped to go where we needed to grow next. Then we built structures around those things to keep them steady and on point.
Innovation is striking business in fresh new ways for young entrepreneurs like us.
Business is not what is made or produced, so much as about the “why" behind its existence. As a business, one must be open and in position for lightning to strike - if we also want to call what we do a ministry as well. Yet, this must flow in a way that the impact is clear, and not disrupting. Our “why” must be from relationship, for relationship as well as being both practical and effective in what we do, and with what we give to.
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognised by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No—but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.” 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (MSG)
“... And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8b (NIV)
Our goal, as a cafe, is to work from a place where we constantly utilise our relationship with the Lord in a very natural way - so that what is applied to the world is practical and not destructive.
As a pictorial example; lightning rods are conductors. They are constructed from a hollow tube with a copper wire running up their core. Their job is to take lightning and divert it into the ground safely.
There is a carefully planned framework for every house that is built, so why should our ministry not have the same? Psalm 16: 5-6 says, "The Lord is my chosen and assigned portion, my cup, you had and maintain my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good heritage.” This verse puts what we do in its rightful perspective. The people who come are those the Lord brings. The people that serve, the same. With whatever we choose to do our values remain being open, and taking that current into practical usefulness.
There is a difference between sweet and good.
Sweetness comes from the doing of good because you understand the heart behind it and your love for the person asking you compels you. It’s easy like breathing, and thoughtful like giving a christmas gift that is just right: this is sweetness. It's cost is time and energy but it is easy to pay and gives joy to your life. The moment we do good because it is the right thing to do, we haven’t the heart for it, what compels us is not relationship but rules, and it changes the “sweetness" of the giver’s intentions into a “request for service”. This is another perimeter we’ve set within ourselves for as a team for ministry and service.
The result of the firm foundations project was to position our business, and our lives in the way that lightning could strike through the ministry we create. There is more to come still, no doubt! For now, here is where we are heading:
One Saturday a month-people can come in and get prayed for, have a dream interpreted, and walk away with a picture or word they can claim. We’ll send out invitations through social media. All prayer will take place in the small meeting room so it’s personal, and not corporate. We want people to feel invited to participate without it disturbing the flow of those who have come in just to sit in the corner and read a book.
Coffee & Art Night: Once a month, the aim being to get creative and learn new techniques with people who just simply love coffee and art. It’s a great way to meet people and feel encouraged!
Items For Sale: Created by international artists we know and love. Profits go to help them continue in the ministry work they do all while supporting the creative culture we love harbouring.
“The Blue Door Project”: Our goal is to increase transparency with what we do with our gold coin donations. Along with being the influx we need as a cafe to keep running, basically we decide to donate to business ventures, like ours, looking to make a difference in the world through creative means. We have our ear to the ground to support these ideas because we believe that where we sew, even just financially, we reap. Within The Blue Door Project we will spotlight different businesses and projects through social media, as well as feature a display in the cafe of what they have done.
This has been a look at some sneak peaks of the framework we are setting up to play in the context of this cafe. Come join us in celebrating our new look, and these changes in the way our day to day stories play out.
Our challenge for you today is: think about where you would like lightning to strike in your life, and start building the framework to see it happen.
What We're Listening To: May 01 (late afternoon) by Love Your Neighbour What We're Drinking: Tuscan Fog (New!)
"Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:10-11 (NLT)
It’s clear, The Meeting Place Cafe has always been abundantly blessed. Not just by objects and items, but also by people who have come together to write the narrative thus far. Though humble, and often 'small’, each element of TMPCs story has been authored by the Master Writer. And as the cafe grew has grown in age, and in wisdom, we have seen continual blessings fall upon it.
Through out this narrative vision has been planted and grown. But with each fruitful chapter, comes an end and a preamble to the next.
The initial foundation has always been deep-rooted, steady and unchanging and after stewarded growth, the cafe was soon to outgrow it. The structure upon it was yearning to grow even further. This was reflected both within the physical structure and the heart of TMPC. Practically, we want to expand our business. We want to offer more to our customers whilst maintaining the quality and heart that we are so passionate about.
Welcome: The Firm Foundations Project.
The establishment of the cafe was a feat in itself and not long after the birth of the vision, the doors to the cafe had open. Through the years we have seen faces increase in number and regulars establish their place within the community of TMPC. They have helped build and see the space transform. And finally it was ready for its next big transformation. Plans had been created to enable the cafe to take a step forth into its long term goal - moving the space from a ‘repurposed office building’ to being a fully functional and intentional cafe space.
The Firm Foundations Project saw the structural walls changing and the relational foundations being strengthened.
There has always been a common vision for the cafe but with the life cycle of the team members came a life cycle of vision and support. It was time for the vision and support to be rooted solely in the Lord. Once re-established, the externals might be shaken by strong wind but the foundation will remain forever strong. Throughout the Firm Foundations Project, we were able to peel back the floor (albeit not literally) and examine what lay beneath to sow new seeds into the new and fertile soil. We were also able sow truth into the walls of the cafe (maybe a little bit more literally). The result of this is the strength and support of our Creator - one which enables us to venture forth into immeasurable growth. We look forward to seeing you in our newly renovated space, where you heart may be warmed, as well as your hands as you hold onto our wonderful Elixir coffee!
What We're Listening To: 1000x by Jarryd James (feat. Broods)
What We're Drinking: Long Macchiato