Location Tried: Any or All Locations
Estimated costs: Nothing
Suggested frequency: Weekly
Hosted by: Your church
Caféchurch provides a fresh expression of community, bringing people into the relaxed café atmosphere of a coffee shop to deal with issues from a faith perspective. At caféchurch, you may tackle issues such as fair trade, the environment, stress, adoption, parenting, debt or divorce – with quizzes, interviews, round table discussions, live music, good coffee and great conversation.
The Caféchurch network was established in 2008: to train, resource and support churches across the UK, so they can run a cafechurch in their community. Churches have connected, or even reconnected with their community, with this opportunity to deal with issues from a faith perspective in the relaxed high street coffee shop setting. Through this venture, churches have engaged with their community and built relationships with people who do not, and would not, go to ‘church’.
First, understand the context – who are you seeking to reach? Sit in the coffee shop or the shopping centre and take a look around you. Observe the kinds of people that come in: this might be an opportunity to strike up a conversation with people, and also to prayerfully reflect.
Understand your purpose: what are you seeking to do? Do you want to make connections, link people to your church, make friends, start a new church or influence your community? Make a plan! Where will you host the caféchurch? How are you going to invite people? Find out more about training provided by caféchurch network (www.cafechurch.net). Caféchurch network will also provide you with publicity resources to invite people (though most people come because a friend invites them).
Set up a team. You will need welcomers, table hosts, prayer coordinators and admin help. Where will you advertise: in which local media? How can you encourage the church to invite friends? What subjects are you going to cover?
Caféchurch network provides resources to develop subjects aimed at the group(s) you are trying to reach.
Consider how you will review what you are doing. Set a timescale to review what has gone well and what needs doing better. Remember to celebrate small things that went well.
Caféchurches are places where people can come to be a part of the community, discuss issues from a faith perspective and receive spiritual and practical help. Subjects discussed are topical issues that impact on our everyday lives, things like parenting, debt, fair-trade and stress.
“We have four or five or five regular attendees with no church background… It works very well as an intergenerational meeting with young teenagers, through to people who are retired.” Nigel, caféchurch Trowbridge (run by Trowbridge Baptist Church). “Caféchurch is an important witness in the heart of the city. We have had opportunity to engage with friends and passersby, and we have had a number of good conversations.” - Lesley, caféchurch Norwich.
“One pair of ‘guests’ has, on a couple of occasions, met up for Bible study and discussion with a couple of our team members.” Andrew, caféchurch Birmingham. “We see caféchurch being an “outreach” from the churches. Many people can’t easily make Sunday mornings or find the structure too rigid for them – this could be the place they meet with God in their week. We have already prayed for and seen a couple people healed; staff love the evening.” - Ann, caféchurch Worcester
T: 020 8664 8506
This idea can be found on page 162 of Hope Heartbeat ©2013 HOPE08 Ltd. For more ideas, Hope Heartbeat is available for purchase from the website above.
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