Growing a Self-Sustaining Ministry: Surfing the Nations

This morning, I got the chance to chat with Tom Bauer, who founded Surfing The Nations with his wife Cindy

The Thruster Model

The first time I visited Surfers Coffee, the cashier shared a little with me about the three-pronged approach that this coffee shoppe in Wahiawa had. I got to chat more with Tom Bauer, the Founder of Surfing The Nations, about The Thruster Model. The model of work is based on the revolutionary design of the “Thruster” surfboard. This surfboard was created in the 1980’s and changed surf history forever with its three fins, perfectly representing the threefold DNA of Surf The Nations (STN). The Thruster Model is comprised of:

  1. A BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP,
  2. A NON-PROFIT, and
  3. A COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP.

I love the idea of growing the influence of Jesus through business and community. With a focus on humanitarian efforts and serving individuals, The Bauers continue to equip the next generation to pursue a radical lifestyle of selfless service and meeting needs in communities globally.

I didn’t get a photo of my aesthetic dirty chai this morning, but here’s an old photo of a faithful Waialua pourover ❤

Self-Sustaining Ministry

Tom hopes to inspire other Christians to create businesses that ultimately develop the character of the lives they touch. What started as something small, has grown into an organization that employs over 60 people and operates a coffee shop, antique store, and residential housing.

God is continuing to grow The Bauers’ stewardship in Wahiawa, as they recently acquired a century-old hotel that will be restored. Tom is an avid collector and attributes his business’ success and growth to the generosity of the community and people around him. I love supporting this faith-based business, which is the perfect stop on the way to the North Shore!

Redemptive Growth

Probably the most inspirational part about the story is the redemption that this development provides the surrounding community. The location of Surfers Coffee actually used to be a strip club. Additionally, the residential housing, that now houses students, was once a brothel. When STN first opened up in Wahiawa, they operated alongside a porn store and a liquor store. Eventually, those businesses offered to sell their spaces and they were subsequently converted. I love the way that they have spruced up the place & it’s amazing to see how God turns graves into gardens!

STN is definitely an inspiration to EHK and we look forward to seeing what’s next for them! Thanks for the amazing coffee talk and inspiration, Tom!

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