My thoughts on the club


I wasn’t sure what to think. I stared at Cliff, wondering if perhaps this friendship of ours was a bad idea; hanging out with him was taking me to unfamiliar and uncomfortable places. Formerly this was figurative. But now, with this idea, it became quite literal.

He had just told me that he thought Breathe, our burgeoning movement, should meet in a strip club.
As I started contemplating the implications of that suggestion, I begin to recognize the brilliance of the idea. Admittedly, my mind went instantly to buzz that could be generated about a “church” meeting in a strip joint. But then, my mind moved to the bigger idea – the fact that our location would say more about us than any website, news story or flyer ever could. First, that we aren’t doing things the traditional way. Second, and most importantly, that we care about all people, even those typically ignored, degraded or judged.

I knew that the idea was going to be a stumbling block for many people. I knew that people wouldn’t get it. Or that people would get it, but disagree. But after two gatherings there, I have no doubt that we are in the right place.

In the comments of the last post, Sam’s Dad raised the point that Jesus would befriend strippers, but wouldn’t hang out with his disciples at a strip club. While I can neither deny nor confirm the scriptural foundation of that point, I will say that I have no idea how I would have befriended Sully, Shannon, Chuck or Dave had we not been gathering at their establishment. I have no idea how I would have grown comfortable discussing significant issues with them. I have no idea how I could bring up God with them.

But I do consider them friends (particularly Chuck the bouncer – that guy is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life, which does make me question his bouncer-credentials). Serious issues have been discussed. They have heard (and actively listened to) God-things.

So my thoughts on the strip club: Breathe is where it is meant to be, doing work that it is meant to be doing. I am unconcerned with the “appropriateness” of our location. I am unconcerned about the roadblocks we will face. I am unconcerned about the less-than-attractive décor we have to battle every week.

I am concerned only with embodying the person of Jesus to Sully, Shannon, Chuck, Dave and all the other patrons who walk through the doors of Club Sensations seeking temporary satisfaction but end up encountering the Eternal.

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  1. May 19, 2008 at 1:22 pm — Reply

    Awesome Todd. Seriously. Can I come?

  2. May 19, 2008 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    Becky we’d love to have you! Can you make the eight-hour commute in two weeks?

  3. Sarah B.
    May 19, 2008 at 6:16 pm — Reply

    I’m so excited for ya’ll, Todd.

    It’s comforting and exciting to know that there is such peace about meeting there and the last 2 meetings have been so wonderful..
    I know I did feel awkward walking in…but walking out, my confidence in the idea was boosted like 200%! I hope to stay updated..for now, for me, the 17hr commute is a little rough..but I’ll be praying!
    Take care 🙂


  4. Michael
    May 19, 2008 at 7:51 pm — Reply

    I think perhaps the idea of what the church is and how Jesus ministered is being conformed to what we want it to be. While I agree that not all churches today look like perhaps they should biblicaly, I also cannot agree that meeting in a strip club or any risque place truly models a biblical church. It is important for the individuals in strip clubs and in bars and hospitals, and amusement parks and lawyer offices to be presented with the gospel that is not the responsibility of the church in a meeting type of setting. The church met in the New Testament to encourage and strengthen other believers. Out of these meetings the church as individuals went into the world to share the gospel with those people working in all types of establishments. To say that Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors is a bit misleading. While it is true that he did spend time ministering to these people, he did not spend that time while they were in the act of prostitution or stealing. Nor did he spend time with them to lift up other believers, as in a church setting. He spent time with them in normal activities of life (dinner at their house, getting water from a well) to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
    Ultimately it is the sharing of the gospel that we are called to do but we must not blindly accept things all in the name of “Jesus”.
    Todd…I still love ya man

  5. May 19, 2008 at 9:59 pm — Reply


    I’m grateful you “still” love Todd; because, obviously, he is apart of something that would require someone to “still” love him in spite of.

    I think Todd has made his point. I think he has made it clearly, sincerely, and gracefully.

    Never in my time knowing Todd have I ever known him to accept anything blindly.

    He is a sharp, critical thinker, with a massive heart for God and for humans. He has acted in this manner with such uprightness of heart and strength of character. I am so honored to have him on my team; more than that I am honored to have him as my dear friend.

    I am excited and empowered by him and I couldn’t have dreamed of walking alongside a better person into this incredible task God has granted us.


  6. erin
    May 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm — Reply

    I applaud you and all of Breathe for searching out the un-believers where they are. But walk carefully, thoughtfully, and seek earnestly the wisdom of those who have been in the faith longer than we have. As your church/movement grows, you will need the active influence of fellow Believers to sit along side you, pray with you, and help all of you in Breathe as you confront the difficult challenges you will most certainly face.

    With His love,

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My thoughts on the club