Saturday, November 15, 2008

Coffee Church?

I picked this video up from a site called Beyond Relevance. I don't know enough about the organization to endorse it or distance myself from it, but I saw this video, and it made me laugh, made me frustrated, but most of all, made me think.

The church for which I work is, of course, always looking for ways to draw the community, and all in all, I think we do a pretty good job. But the times, as Dylan said, "they are a changin'." They always are. The message must stay the same (Gospel) but the method of delivery has got to be relevant ... and a bunch of other churchy buzzword things.

Our entire staff is going to be reading "Simple Church" together over the next few weeks, so it will be interesting to hear what comes of that.

So don't be offended by this video. Just look at it as a thought/discussion provoker. I'd like to know your thoughts about the topic.


lmerie said...

Definitely makes you think. Our church has begun the give a coffee to visitors . . .I take it that is happening many places if it made it to the spoof - this does make me wonder what people, who have not been involved in church, think of it. The guy with the coffee jug cracked me up. I know the verse, but when I hear it pushed in church like that, it makes me uneasy, how do I give in the right spirit, when you have just been pressured to give so it will come back to you ...well that is a whole "nuther" point to ponder :)

Have a great day!

RosyRose said...

Linda that was thought provoking.
I wonder how often people who don't know the church "routine" think we look like cheese heads?!
Speaking of coffee I think it's time for a cup!

sara said...

very though provoking! I think that presenting the gospel in a relevant way is something that all churches struggle with.

Robin Lambright said...

I guess my thoughts on this type of ministry are conflicted. We birthed a church several years ago from our congregation. It is a completely different model from our worship style. They have the big video screens and a rock/praise worship team.

It is very different from what we have all grown used to, and I go to the contemporary service at our church.

What I have decided is that as long as the message is based in biblical truth (which the church we launched is totally based on God’s word. My family worships there probable once a quarter, my daughter loves going there!) and the message is not watered down with starbucks or other gimmicky type things it is ok to offer different more contemporary things to meet folks where they are.

There was a very similar style church that was in our area that from time to time our high school would have concerts in. Every time we would visit this so called church I was so disturbed in my spirit for it was very obvious that they had taken great care to remove any physical signs that this was a church. There was no alter, no kneeling rail there was not even a cross anywhere to be found. There was a gift shop in the lobby as well as a starbucks type coffee shop as well, the environment as so removed from any outward Christian sign that it was more like a concert venue than a sanctuary.

I think it was very intentional in that they wanted to remove any outward signs as to not offend anyone therefore drive anyone away.

I have a huge problem with removing the focus to make people more comfortable with the message.

If you remove the cross then it totally (in my opinion) removes the truth of who Jesus was and is in our lives.

It was clear to me that this video was a very tongue in cheek kind of thing.

I think that as long as the message is based on the truth of Jesus, then I think God’s word and his purpose are served.

My two cents worth!!!


Dena @ Green Acres said...

I guess I'm different or whatever, because this really made laugh. I looked at it like a SNL spoof, not as an insult or a slam to churches. When they said something about how some visitors don't come back, but I know a bean has been planted, I nearly spit my water.

At the same time, I do think it should also make us think. I believe some churches try too hard and some don't try hard enough.

Thanks for sharing that Linda.

Barbara H. said...

I think some points of this are good reminders -- the greeter who is chatting with a friend rather than greeting visitors, the sideways looks rather than a friendly hello, making visitors raise their hands and feel put on the spot.

On the other hand, we have to remember that lost or unchurched people aren't going to understand many things, like the principle of giving. We don't change or dilute the message -- we just faithfully teach and present the Word. That said, I do know some churches way over-emphasize and push giving, which is not Scriptural either.

I think what most newcomers want in a church is not to be "marketed to" (awkward sentence, sorry), but genuine interest.

Cathy Davis said...

The video just cracked me up and that's about all I took from it. I should probably spend a little more time thinking about things...

Amy said...

Hi Linda! I am new to your blog, but love your heart and insight! I found ya last night...Lord knows how I did! LOL! Anywho, I have you in my googlereader and just finished reading this one on Coffee Church... o my goodness!! This is sadly true isn't it?? I found this one a couple weeks ago, I wasn't sure if you had seen it.. but it was sooo eye opening too! Bless you, girl!


Oh the link for the Drive-Thru Church is

jennifer@love,laughter,and lyrics said...

I loved this.

It really makes you think about why we do the things we do in church.

Mocha with Linda said...

This was a great video. I didn't see it as a quest to urge churches to offer coffee bars or do other gimmicky things, but to point out how insensitive we can be.

The video was not "Should churches be like Starbucks?" but "What if Starbucks was like most churches?"

That couple walked in and they were ignored by the GREETER, given a disparaging look and ignored by others, embarrassed and made the center of attention. When all they wanted was "coffee". No one showed her the restroom, etc.

Being relevant is a matter of realizing that unsaved folks are walking into a foreign environment and being sincere, warm, and welcoming to them. I don't think they care if you hand them a cup of coffee as much as a smile and a genuine interest in them.

One thing I love that our pastor/staff does related to the offering is that they frequently announce that it is for members & regular attenders only - the visitors are only asked to put in their info card (which is found in the worship folder, they don't have to raise their hands to get one).

I don't think churches should be gimmicky. But being relevant is important. And it is hard sometimes to find the balance.

Anonymous said...

This is thought provoking. Glad I'm a tea drinker! ha. just kidding.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I really like this--it was funny and made me pause to think. I got a very conservative church and you really need to dress unlike most churches out here. The way the man in the suit looked the visitors up and down struck a cord with me--I am very guilty of this :(

Shannon said...

This "spoof" practically is my old church! Honestly, I just wanted to hear about Jesus. I think I have found what I needed at a much smaller church.

Katie said...

java-lujah! good one, mom.

Brenda Susan said...

Very funny! If we can't laugh at ourselves & learn from what others see then it's time to give up.
I posted this on my ministry school myspace page!

Manic Monday said...

Hey, 2nd! yeah, maybe manic isn't 100% me... most of the time. but i do have my spells ~G~. Thanks for the welcome. i'm trying to find my way around here and stumbled across your page. snowy CNY is in central new york... in the lake effect snow area... think 170 inches some winters. i have plans to move away! lol

Anonymous said...

Have you ever read Spurgeon's article on Feeding the Sheep or Amusing the Goats? I think that we as believers need to be very careful in how we share the gospel. You can read his article at this link.

Cyndy said...

Oh yeah...the greeter not greeting, the tip jar, the visitors raise your hand thing...I have been there and all I wanted to do was crawl under a pew or fade into the ladies room wallpaper.
Having things like coffee bars and bookstores in the church should grow out of a desire to serve others not a desire to market the church. Is it God's idea or man's idea because another church is doing it? When coffee bars and bookstores work it's because someone was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
I laughed and I cried watching this. Probably because it is all true.

PJ said...

OH my! I couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry. Love the coffee metaphor. It was definitely funny, but some points were also truths to ponder.

Say, does your church actually serve coffee? I've run across that a couple of times lately. I like it! OF course I'm not exactly a conventional thinker.

thouartloosed said...

I think this is a very real picture of what happens when WE feel we have to do the work of the Holy Spirit.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

Love this!! I am sharing it with some friends.