Ten Reasons To Use Your Local Coffee Shop for Your Evangelism Small Groups

CoffeeConversationsI’ve had many a conversation with

  • church planters who want to start a coffee house
  • church members who want to start a coffee house ministry
  • church members who want to run a coffee shop
  • churches who want to deal Fair Trade Coffee (such as Beyond Beans) for their gatherings.
  • building committees that dream a coffee house in their church.

The Coffee Shop for the Bible Study

What drives many of these visions is the idea of a social gathering spot for informal evangelism, or a setting for evangelistic bible studies.

It’s considered a vision for evangelism that often sounds like this:

“Let’s build a coffee house and THEN we’ll do evangelism bible studies.”

I think that’s backwards.

The Bible Study for the Coffee Shop

Don’t build or design a coffee house.

Use the one in your neighborhood!

Ten Reasons to use a local cafe for your evangelistic bible study:

  1. coffeebible.jpgNo Capital Outlay — No need to design special space in your building, or purchase/renovate an existing building
  2. Supports local economy — Local business owners are supported when you meet in their store.
  3. Get out of the church — Cafe’s are a neutral space.
  4. No clean up — No coffee pots to clean or grinds to dispose of.
  5. Good coffee — I can’t tell you how many cups of burnt coffee or colored water I’ve drunk at church.
  6. Public space — Regular meetings may produce curiosity and people self-introducing themselves and connecting.
  7. Start tomorrow — no need to design, dream, spend lots of money. You can focus on gathering people and building relationships now instead of when its ready.
  8. Low Cost — the infrastructure exists at the coffee shop, freeing you to meet people instead of paying for building plans, inspections, materials, and supplies.
  9. No volunteer recruitment — you don’t have to recruit more overworked volunteers from your church to support the work.
  10. Put your efforts into building relationships, not business — a coffee house is a business.

One pastor wrote an article about  moving his bible study to Borders: No Borders at Borders (Article removed from internet)

Other coffee house ideas:

  • In They like Jesus, but not the Church, Pastor Dan Kimball wrote about getting himself out of the church office and setting up a secondary office in the Cafe. He speaks of many evangelistic conversations.
  • Another church simply opens their doors on Monday morning giving away free coffee.
  • I used to go to the same Starbucks every Sunday morning prior to church. I got to know every staff person and every regular Sunday morning visitor. I had the opportunity to pray with and for nearly everyone.

Now this doesn’t mean you can’t start your own coffee house, but don’t avoid doing evangelism while waiting for a building to finish. Get out there and build a group in the local cafe while you are waiting.

Let me ask you this?

  • Where are your evangelism bible studies held?
  • Homes, Church, neighborhood coffee shops?
  • Does your church dream about a coffee house ministry?
  • Do you have the people meeting already, or are you waiting for the space first to build a group?
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Comments

  1. Neal Locke says

    Amen. I lead a discussion group in one of our local coffee shops — I’d also encourage people to find a locally-owned, non-starbucks coffee shop if they have one. Usually those offer free wifi, where most starbucks don’t.

  2. BibleStudyCafe.com says

    I’m enjoying your blog!
    Thanks for creating it.

    I recently met two Mormon missionaries in my and neighborhood and took them to a local coffee house for lunch.

    I made it clear that I did not share their view of Christ and that I’m a firm believer in the Triune nature of God.

    Our fellowship at the cafe went on to be a wonderful witnessing opportunity for me and they enjoyed the fact that I was not hostile, treated them to lunch and demonstrated the joy of sharing the Christ I follow.

  3. says

    Dan,

    I think this is AWESOME!!!!
    As a pastor this has opened my eyes to another great opportunity to reach people with Jesus Christ.
    God bless you and thank you for this AWESOME post.

    Ben

  4. says

    Ben,

    Thanks for the enthusiasm. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had in a coffeeshop, or similar setting.

    I’ve got many friends who report many different relationships that have come out of meeting in a local coffee house, and who also report people who eventually come to faith in Christ.

    Chris.

  5. Sei whange says

    I’m enjoying your blog!I recently met two Mormon missionaries in my and neighborhood and took them to a local coffee house for lunch.I think this is AWESOME!!!!

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