A year ago, Brooks and I took a step of faith and launched the new non-profit ministry of Collegiate Abbey. This ministry is focused primarily on faculty, staff and admin, but even more so, helping to bridge the gap between the university and ministries to address issues such as racism and sexual assault.
This ministry has really taken off and the demand has been high. The University now seeks us out to aid in various endeavors to serve the campus and address important issues.
While the ministry has flourished in this way, funding has been a struggle. However, in the process of raising our own funds both currently and in our previous employment with Cru, we have seen the struggle for funding is rampant among nonprofits, especially among minority communities. The Alliance for Greater Nonprofits projects that the current model most groups are using for funding is already showing signs of collapse and decay. They have also stated that nonprofits must develop new models with which to engage people and meet multiple needs.
Over the past few months God has brought an idea and vision for a possibility to do just that. This past December I began work on creating The Abbey.
The Abbey is a vision for a new way of providing for both individuals and ministries.
The Abbey creates sacred spaces amidst our everyday life, reclaiming what has been eroded.
So what is “The Abbey”
The main part of “The Abbey” is an app for your phone/tablet. It is a monthly subscription based model. There are four primary sections of The Abbey: Devotion, Prayer, Meditation and Reflection. We spend so much time on our phones, our app would seek to reclaim that space and turn what is most often used as distraction into a place of encouragement.
Users who subscribe to the App get daily devotionals, prayer prompts and guides, meditation guidance and guided reflection. In turn their subscription goes to fund ministries. Specifically the ministries listed below. As users grow, the opportunity to launch new ministries increases. It is magnified by the fact that the majority of these ministries would also become self sustaining. Below I will list the ministries and the timeline in which the would launch.
Upon reaching 15,000 users Collegiate Abbey (CA) is fully funded, the App operating cost are fully covered. Staff are hired for both the App and CA.
Upon reaching approx 50,000 users the ministries of Abbey Cafe and Abbey Bakery launch in tandem.
Abbey Cafe is modeled after the work in Wilmington NC of Bitty and Beau’s Coffee Shop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH05YxlD0Ng
It is a cafe that employees special needs persons alongside able bodied individuals. The desire is to show the beauty of these individuals and care for the orphans of society.
Abbey Bakery is staffed by refugee women and managed by widows. Many refugee women are finding themselves in the position of bread winners for the family due to either having become a widow or being separated from their spouse. Most of these women have been unable to receive education in their home countries, however are skilled in cooking. The desire of the bakery is to use their skills while also hosting classes at night to help them adapt and adjust. The management of the bakery would ideally be run by several women in the community who have lost their husbands and now find themselves having to fully support their families.
Upon reaching approx 75-100K users the ministry of Abbey Farm launches.
Abbey Farm is a therapeutic farm for those suffering from PTSD, Trauma and Grief. It would in tandem with various Christian Counseling Agencies and also with churches. The University of Tennessee Vet Program has also expressed interest in helping the provision and care for the animals.
Above 100,000 Users these ministries would prayerfully begin to expand to other cities across the US.
The Bakery, Cafe and Farm could all work in conjunction to generate revenue and maintain sustainability. These ministries would also adapt to the areas of need. For example the Bakery could easily shift focus from refugees to formerly incarcerated individuals and single moms.
How can you help?
We would love your help in spread the word about the vision and work of “The Abbey”. We will be going live with our website shortly and would appreciate you showing it to others. Also if you could follow us on instragram: @TheAbbeyApp and facebook: The Abbey App, we would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you so much and we will keep you posted!