Valley Community Church Blog

The Missional Outpost

The question which has to be put to every local congregation is the question whether it is a credible sign of God’s reign in justice and mercy over the whole of life, whether it is an open fellowship whose concerns are as wide as the concerns of humanity, whether it cares for its neighbors in a way which reflects and springs out of God’s care for them, whether its common life is recognizable as a foretaste of the blessing which God intends for the whole human family.
~ Lesslie Newbigin from Sign of the Kingdom  

Ten years ago, a seed was planted in Pleasanton soil. That seed has finally broken ground and has taken form in the budding vision for a “Missional Outpost.” What is this Missional Outpost and why the need for it? Let’s begin with the “why” as it has shaped the “what.” 

Our backyard is a mission field and people are not beating down our front doors to fill our pews. Over the last half of a century the massive tectonic plates of western culture have shifted. We now live in a post-Christian nation, a poly-cultural, religiously diverse, and functionally secular society. In other words, we live in a mission field. Mission work is not something that is merely done over there across some geo-political boundary line; it is something that must happen here

Our God is on a mission and his church is a people on mission—on mission to make Gospel-centered disciples for the glory of God. As Christopher Wright has said, “it is not so much that God has a mission for his church in the world, but that God has a church for his mission in the world.”We are called to actively engage those who need the good news of Jesus; simply waiting for our city to flood into Sunday morning services is not going to happen in a culture that increasingly dismisses the validity of the Church. We need to go to them, to move beyond our bastions of comfort and step into the rhythms of the city, that we might take the Gospel into the center of the culture. 

What does it look like to take the Gospel into the center of the culture here in the local context of the East Bay and Tri-Valley? It looks like Inklings and The Common Room. Download the offsite vision brochure here and watch an introductory video below.

Inklings will be a boutique coffee and tea shop. A vintage, pub-style, third-wave coffee house named after the famed literary discussion group associated with the University of Oxford, Inklings will embody the gospel in its hospitality, charity, and dedication to excellence in serving the community. It will also be the place where worldviews meet, discussions take place, and we can tell people of the hope we have in Jesus. 

The Common Room will be a versatile venue that will host concerts, art galleries, debate forums, conferences, church plants, the iNVERSION 5PM Sunday service, and more in order to serve as a hub for church cooperation, community participation, and Gospel-centered leadership development. 

How big will this missional outpost be and where will it be located? We are currently looking for a 10,000 sq/ft facility along the 580 corridor in Livermore, Pleasanton, or Dublin. Inklings will be roughly 1/3 and The Common Room will be roughly 2/3 of the footprint of the new facility. 

Inklings and The Common Room will be open late into the night. This is a prime business and social opportunity. It is well known that the Tri-Valley mostly shuts down around 8 or 9:00PM—but its people do not. The sea of “closed” signs means that people have to drive to Oakland, Berkeley, or San Francisco to find a gathering spot for artisan coffee, an open mic, or a concert. What if instead of heading into Oakland or San Francisco for a third-wave coffee shop or concert we had people coming to Inklings and The Common Room? What if we brought the arts into the heart of the Tri-Valley? What if instead of heading to a bar or to sit awkwardly in front of In-N-Out Burger, people could spend their later evenings in a welcoming boutique coffee and tea shop surrounded by a relational staff who lives to share the love of Jesus with a broken world? 

We need your help. Will you join us in giving, praying, and serving?

You can serve with your ideas, your labor, and spreading the word.
You can pray for funding, the location, the Gospel to be boldly proclaimed, communications, and volunteers.
You can give finances, materials, and furniture. 

The Challenge (4|400|1000)
We currently have over 1/3 of the finances needed in order to acquire a location and turn a shell of a building into Inklings and The Common Room. Our current need is $400,000. 

Not many of us feel like we can make a dent in $400K. But if we each do our part we can get this mission funded in just four months! We are asking that you would consider being one of 400 people to give $1000 over the course of four months (that is $250 a month). We do realize that giving $250 a month is a not possible for some. Please give what you can; whether you give $10 or $100k you will be helping in taking the Gospel to the center of the culture of this Tri-valley. 

How to Give:

1: By check on location/mail. Make checks payable to VCC. On the memo line please designate your gift to “iNVERSION offsite” or “iNVERSION outpost”.

Mail checks to:
Valley Community Church
Attention: iNVERSION Offsite
4455 Del Valle Parkway
Pleasanton, CA 94566

2: Online. Give online via the iNVERSION APP on iOS and Android, or visit our website at inversiononline.org/giving or vcclive.org/giving. All giving is tax deductible. 

Keep an eye out for updates—things are moving swiftly! Please keep us in your prayers. We hope to see you at Inklings and The Common Room soon.