How do you transform a community? This is the question that cropped up for Jarod Cronk when he moved to the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee, WI. Jarod recognized his city’s history of racism and poverty, and he witnessed rioting and economic distress firsthand among his neighbors. When God called Jarod to change his city’s culture, he knew he had to listen to the story God had designed for him.
Who is Jarod Cronk? Jarod Cronk is a Wheaton College graduate who has been a teacher, a coach, a leadership developer, and the headmaster of a Christian academy. When Jarod left academia just before his first child was born, he and his wife began selling things they no longer needed to bring in extra money. This season led Jarod to recognize his city’s need for economic transformation, so he founded Sharehouse Goods.
Sharehouse Goods is a ministry as much as an entrepreneurial venture. They provide employment to those struggling in the community and give back economically through consignment checks. Over time, their community presence has expanded to include a coffee shop that draws people in throughout the city and a coffee roasting business that trains individuals for employment and pours profits back into the community.
“I had to dig deep into the Gospel to discover what God really intended for me to be in Him.” — Jarod
“My hands began to open. My heart began to open. I began to see myself in my neighbor.” — Jarod
“I want people to know that we have a generous God who cares deeply, not just for our material well-being about the whole story. He invites us to be engaged in that story.” — Jarod
“To only choose the safe options disengages us from the immensity of grace and freedom and joy that God wants us to come into.” — Jarod
“For many of us, the very source of pain in our lives becomes the opportunity God uses to transform us into our sphere of ministry.” — Leary
“God will turn your pain into provision, not just for you but for others around you.” — Armin
- Pay attention to the obstacles in your path. Listen to what they are trying to tell you. What is God designing in those moments?
- You don’t need to start by doing something grand to change thousands of lives. What can you do to take small steps to meet the needs of just one other person?
- God transforms our fears and the source of our pain into areas where we can minister to others. You carry your pain with you, but are you using it in a way that transforms others?