Mustard Ministries focuses primarily on the urban
1. Teens and pre-teens
2. Youth/working professionals/ college students, young entrepreneur
3. Marriages Bangalore boasts of being the music, pub and drug capital and now has the ignominy of being the suicide capital of India too.
We have several initiatives aimed at these groups that include:
• Weekly youth group/cell group – Comprising of 10-12 members this group of young working professionals concentrates on building Christ-like relationships around them with the primary tool for engagement being the Bible.
• Weekly teen session – With facilitators to help engage with this young, impressionable group of 12-15 teens, the emphasis is also on engaging with parents continuously as without parental involvement and support, little ground can be covered.
• Fortnightly meeting with married couples– Having completed the Alpha Marriage Course as a tool for engagement, currently the book of James is being studied. This group comprises of 9-10 couples.
• Weekly ladies study– Comprising of 12-15 ladies who study and discuss God’s Word, this study has been instrumental in impacting many lives in the last few years.
• One-on-one mentoring with youth, married couples on need basis.
• Weekly prayer – This is a dedicated time of worship and prayer, which is open to everyone from all walks of life.
The café is homely and informal serving food & beverages for the body and soul. As the couple puts it- it’s a piece of their heart on a plate. Open all days, the café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mustard Café has been covered by several leading newspapers in Bangalore for it’s unique ambience. Zomato (an online food aggregator) has featured Mustard Café in their ‘top 21 cafes in Bangalore collection’ , based on customer satisfaction reviews.
The meeting room/studio is available on rent for gatherings of up to 30 people. The room has projector facilities and Wi-Fi which makes it attractive for small corporate gatherings, birthday parties etc. The studio hosts 2 small church gatherings and cell groups on a weekly basis.
Equipped with the vision for the Word of God in every home, Mustard also houses a retail shop which sells Christian books, music, movies, merchandise. Every article in the shop has a verse/inspirational message. The store has customized table cloths, cushion covers, journals, and a range of books, music and Christian movies among several other items.
The inspiration for the shop is from Deuteronomy 6:6-9: “These commandments I have given you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children, Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”
With the rapid pace of urbanization, the challenges in the 3 core areas- teens/pre teens, youth and marriages are daunting. However by collaborating with other partners, we believe that we can be at the forefront of change in our cities. The issues facing our teens, youth and marriages are no longer a mere discussion. Through excellence and commitment to this vision, we believe we can effect a transformation in the cities. We invite you to partner with us Initial funding has been primarily from Manoj and Lincy’s savings. 70% of Mustard’s revenues come from the café, retail shop and studio. Another 30% requires to be funded. Funding would be towards meeting the cost of rentals, stocks for the retail shop and some capital investments towards sustaining the work. Eventually, the café, retail shop and studio are expected to be self- sustained. The work at and through Mustard Ministries can continue with the support of well-wishers and patrons, like you.
The motives for visiting the café in 2014, apart from meeting Manoj and Lincy, were to grab those books and scripture magnets from the store. Each of those weekend visits would be accompanied by warm conversations with the selfless couple. Those merchandise-spurred visits soon turned to visits for couple’s fellowship, mushroom bruschetta’s, salads and an outpouring of our hearts. Their food, much like our conversations was and is delectable, simple and delicious. For us, as a family, Mustard isn’t just a café but a piece of Manoj and Lincy’s heart. They have let everyone who visits peep into the deepest recesses of their heart thus demonstrating that it’s alright to lay it all bare. Because of their courage to show us who they are, with their flaws and perfections, we have been encouraged to share all of our hearts with them without the slightest fear of judgment. They allowed us to put our real, fragile selves on display without any embellishments because they have proved and we now know too, that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! At Mustard, they sowed the seeds for unflinching faith, joy and stubborn perseverance into our lives, and even into the lives of members of our extended family. True to their vision, they've been sowing precious, little mustard seeds into the lives of every visitor to their cafe which we pray will blossom and bear fruit.
-Vinay & Anina Corporate Banker with Standard Chartered Bank & Stay-at-home-mum
I heard of Mustard through my mother. Through Mustard, I have seen a transformation in myself. I thought being an introvert and a budding musician can never co-exist. But Mustard helped me overcome my fears by offering me an opportunity to perform live. My first performance left me shaking as I confessed to my parents that I would never be able to do an encore. But the feedback from the crowd and the café was so encouraging that I have gone on to perform twice over! Apart from that, I am also part of the teen session held by Manoj and Lincy, each week. . There are different speakers who share their journeys with us which makes it easier for us to relate to their life experiences. Mustard Ministries has encouraged me to stay close to God and not go astray at any point in my life and the affinity I now share with this place makes me now call it my second home.
Mustard has honestly been a huge blessing to me. We have these really cool teen sessions every Tuesday and I've learnt so much from them. Mustard has helped me emotionally and has made me realize that nothing is impossible with God and that there's so much more to life than just going with the flow everyday. I've also felt the presence of God there and it amazes me to see the owners flowing in the Spirit with so much of passion for God and faith in Him. They've been a blessing to multiple people too! God is always given the glory for everything there :) All the things that I've learnt there has helped me make the right choices in my day to day life and has brought me closer to God. It has also given me a whole new perspective on life and I've learned that everything I do should be done for the glory of God. Not to mention, the food there is amazing and so is the gift shop! :)
Nice guy, good husband, superdad - this is how I saw myself before Manoj spoke God's Word into my life, consistently and uncompromisingly, through the Men's Fellowship and the Couples' Fellowship at Mustard. Whilst I saw myself as "good soil," God's Word revealed the condition of my heart, with all its thistles and thorns. There began our journey. Be it our marriage or parenting, Tina and I have been challenged to live beyond the "natural" and look to see God's purposes for our home and children. Mustard is thus "HOME" to us in many ways - we are nourished in God's Word, cared for by their love and fellowship and challenged to put off the "old self" and put on "the new." Manoj and Lincy have inspired us to step out of our comfort zones and invest our time and love into others, leading by their own examples of keeping joy and faith even admist the mountains and valleys of their own lives Mustard has taught us to seek, pursue and live out God's best for our lives. Great food for the soul and stomach!!!
-Amrith & Valentina, Hubert Manager, Global Services, IBM & Head of Publication, APCWO
I had been living in Bangalore for more than 2 years and was looking for more than Sunday Church services. I remember reading a very long time ago, in Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life and in the context of the Church, that '[We] are called to belong, not just believe' and I carried this quote with me for years.
I first heard about Mustard from my fiancé, Suhas. He attended youth group every Friday at Mustard and would talk about it passionately so I found myself really drawn to the idea of gathering together to discuss faith and life. But because I was painfully shy, it took me a long time to actually come around to Mustard. But when I finally did, I fell in love.
I don't quite remember when, but I know that somewhere between their delicious Caribbean Jerk Chicken, pots of filter coffee and honest, deep conversations, I began to feel like I belonged. Each of us find our meaning as part of the whole body and I discovered this by engaging with others in the body of Christ as we sought to practically apply Biblical truth. I have seen my faith grow quickly within these walls. My relationship with my future husband has also been greatly blessed by the conversations that we have shared after youth group. I have great memories here and the shelves of books, the delicious smell of cupcakes and the warmth that Manoj and Lincy exude make Mustard cafe feel like home.
-Pritika, AVP (Economic research), Copal Amba
A café with a studio, store and delicious food sounded improbable to me. But I was happy to be proven otherwise.
On my first visit to the café, I was intrigued by not just the studio but also the animated conversation happening at an adjacent table between Manoj and some other young folks. As it turned out the conversation was actually a life group meeting that the couple host every week for the youth. My curiosity got the better of me, that evening, and soon enough at Lincy’s behest I was part of the conversation as well. Nowhere had I seen a bunch of youngsters meet to listen to God’s word on a Friday, when they had plenty of choices to go out to any of the pubs on the same road and spend their time differently.
I think it’s high time we have more café’s like this around the city. In a typical church setting we are restricted in a way – only church members, area groups etc., thus providing lesser opportunities for a non-Christian or non-church goer to know Christ. When we meet in a setting such as a café for conversations around His Word there are higher chances for seekers to come to His knowledge. When I share this with my non-Christian friends, they are surprised that café’s such as Mustard function and reach out in so many diverse ways to the youth of the city
-Shiju Thomas, Learning Partner, Flipkart
In July 2015, as we were worshiping in Chennai at our weekly fellowship meeting, our pastor saw a vision of starting a church in Bangalore. The burden grew intense with each passing day and we were compelled to pray for His leading to the right place in Bangalore along with the required finances.
A friend suggested a café in the heart of the city, Koramangala. We hesitated as we considered our meagre finances but at the friend’s insistence we went to visit Mustard, anyway. As we stepped into the café, we strongly felt this was where God wanted us to be. As we began discussing finances, much to our amazement, Lincy told us we could use the studio free of cost. We began worshipping, as a small church, in the studio, the very same week of August 2015 and celebrated our first anniversary as a group of 35, last month.
Week on week we hear of our members experiencing peace and joy as they step into Mustard. I believe the reason for this is the unmistakable presence of God, at the cafe. Mustard has been a great blessing to us and we pray this place will continue to bless multitudes.
-Vicky, Life House Church,Chennai
A Mustard is sown
Building a heart after God’s own isn’t easy. As a couple and a very young family, Manoj and Lincy realised that early. It was in 2008 that Manoj first sensed God calling them to move back to India. They were settled and comfortable in Dubai with Eva, their daughter, being less than a year old. Though Lincy had her initial apprehensions, God restored the peace in her heart and the family returned to Bangalore, India in December 2009. With Bangalore being Manoj’s home city, it wasn’t entirely unfamiliar ground. God impressed upon his heart that it’s cosmopolitan culture and ever burgeoning young adult population presented a unique opportunity, for them, to develop Christ-centered communities.
In May 2010, they welcomed their second daughter, Zara, and in November 2010 they received direction on the composition of Mustard Ministries.
They now knew that Mustard would comprise of a café, a book store, gift store and studio.
• The café would be a homely, informal environment with great food, honest conversations, genuine care and concern for people.
• The studio would be a place for Bible studies, workshops, counselling sessions, trainings and more.
A Mustard seed is sown The cafe - the face & the studio - the heart of Mustard Ministries.
Manoj and Lincy faced several impediments in the initial stages of conceptualizing and giving wings to Mustard- be it in understanding project costs, scheduling, government laws and regulations etc. But every single time, God revealed a greater and more glorious plan that added to their momentum. In November 2011, they finally found a space that was bigger and better than anything they had imagined! In May 2012, Mustard opened. Unfortunately, operations closed in July 2012 due to complications in zoning.
Zoay-The life that went quiet yet spoke to many
Meanwhile, they were also preparing to welcome their third child, in August 2012. Zoay, their third daughter was born on August 7, 2012 with severe complications arising from a fatal condition termed Trisomy 13. She went home to the Lord the same afternoon. Even through this season of grief and anguish, God never let go. He stood with them, His unfailing love strengthened them relentlessly through His Word and specifi- cally 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 which says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Tilling the ground
Again In August 2014, Mustard was re-opened with renewed focus, zeal and trust in the Lord, in Koramangala, Bangalore.
• To be faithful witnesses and accurately reflect the gospel of Jesus Christ through love, excellence, commitment and integrity in all areas of life, both business and social responsibility.
• To restore faith, hope and love in everyday life through the strategic use of Christian resources with a focus on the urban population.
• Helping people realize their God-given potential through discipleship, mentoring, counselling.
Matthew 17:20- “He replied, because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Mark 4:30-32 – “Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
Some Statistics on Urban Population:
An April 2015 article in The Economist stated that some 50 Indian cities have 1million residents or more; and forecasted that some 300m people will move to cities in the next 25 years, almost doubling the urban population. By 2051 about 60% of India's population will be in cities. With the rapid pace of urbanisation, each of these areas are adversely impacted. Bangalore has a very high incidence of stress, depression, alcoholism and early onset of heart attacks among the working professionals. Increasing instances of child pornography and attention deficit disorders (ADD’s). Also Karnataka has the 4th highest divorce rates in India.