After spending years tending bar, Denver author Jerry Herships realized the connections and conversations he was having with his customers were deeper and more real than anything he’d ever experienced in a church. His experiences led him to found AfterHours Denver, a bar church where people worship with a whiskey in their hand and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to serve Denver’s homeless. Herships recounts his unexpected journey to ministry in a new book, Last Call: From Serving Drinks to Serving Jesus (Westminster John Knox Press).
At a time when more and more people are leaving the church or identifying themselves as “spiritual but not religious,” Last Call explores the story of a man that is more interested in the mission of the church than the institution. “I think it’s ironic that the more I talk to people outside the church, the more I realize they are just looking for something bigger than themselves. They want community and a way to serve the world and give back,” Herships says. “They could care less about our preaching, hymns, and fancy buildings.”
Last Call is not a success story, it is a story about giving up on dreams and thriving in unexpected places. “Most of us do church in the tidy, comfortable confines of a church building. Not Jerry Herships. He's handing out the goods to drunks in bars and among the homeless in the park,” says Nadia Bolz-Weber. “Basically, my friend Jerry pastors in the exact places I'm pretty sure Jesus would be hanging out today.”
Last Call is available for purchase through Westminster John Knox Press and other major retailers.