A coffee shop in a church is not about the coffee. It’s about sitting down and listening, an exchange of ideas, friendships, and community.
In order to evangelize or do missions, we should recognize this as yet another creative way to show the love of Jesus to people who wouldn’t otherwise step into a church. That’s why churches open coffee shops such as Word of Life’s “Overflow” in Chino Valley, Arizona, and why some of the mega church’s have theirs open to the public; and it’s right inside their church buildings.
At one time, a coffee shop used to be in downtown Prescott, Arizona with a neon “open” sign in their window. Every Friday or Saturday night it was packed. So many young people crammed into that small, glassed in space. In spite of the leaky roof, it was a hit.
Coffee shops are only successful if done right. If it’s all about having coffee, and not community, then it will fail. If a church doesn’t support that ministry in word and deed, it will fail. If a church doesn’t pray for that ministry, it will fail.
A Coffee Shop ministry can be done right in the following ways:
- Bible Study: Consider reserving a table at a coffee shop to hold a Bible Study. Be open to people joining it, even if they don’t share your worldview.
- Open your church’s coffee shop to the public: Find a way to make it a business so that you can minister to people who would not otherwise step into your church.
- If your coffee shop in your church doesn’t have a sit down area, you might want to consider putting tables and chairs to encourage the congregation to linger before or after service. Lingering means people are talking to each other and discussion knits a strong sense of community in a church. A strong sense of community keeps a church together.
- Pastors, consider putting out a social media invite to meet you at a coffee shop for a few hours. You make yourself available and it’s more of a social thing. People overhear conversations at coffee shops and you may talk to someone who may need to hear about Jesus.
- Ambiance makes a difference. A coffee shop that takes their ambiance seriously means people feel at home.
For those who hate coffee, might I suggest ordering an ice tea? Coffee shops do sell other things besides lattes and teas. Open your mind to the creative God that we have who has put ideas such as this into ministries that are active in their communities. This would be a great project to consider being a team leader. Take a look at our project page to see how you can head something like this with great success.