There seems to be some debate over having a Coffee bar in the church. Some people don't believe that it is the proper place for one. Personally, I don't drink coffee and never have, but I am glad that my church has the coffee bar.
I have met so many people who I would not otherwise have met had that coffee bar not been in my church. I have shared with others and created new relationships that contribute to my growth as a follower of Christ.
Some churches have hired staff to operate their coffee bars, but in my church, volunteers man the coffee bar. I don't drink coffee, but I have thought about volunteering in the bar so that I can meet more people inside my church.
We also have several different types of coffee and donuts available both before and after service at no charge.
Members congregate at the coffee bar
Our members stick around and engage in conversation. We are talking about the lessons from the sermon and life events that are happening with others. Those conversations transfer into Bible studies and other groups, as well as personal conversations between friends and family. We are more aware of what is happening inside our church and community because the coffee bar exists.
I know that the reason against the coffee bar is that some Christians feel that we should be more focused on helping those that are struggling, as opposed to indulging in coffee and conversation, but if we aren't congregating amongst each other, we are not learning about those who might be struggling.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20 NIV
Members don't come to church for the coffee bar but they stay longer
Nobody comes to church for coffee; we come to learn and develop our relationship with Christ. The coffee bar sees numerous people showing up early, and staying late, socializing and discussing life, and the sermon.
What about those who don't know Christ? Walking into a church is scary during your first visit, but seeing so many people congregating and sharing is a great way to get introduced to the community and become a participant, and more importantly, a follower of Christ.
The more I know people in my church, the more I realize that we are all broken, and we all have struggles inside or near families. I would not know the struggles of the person sitting next to me during service if I also didn't congregate with them before and after the service.
Yes, we need to do more outreach, and that is a great topic of discussion that we should pursue with the people we know. You know, the ones we met while congregating with before and after church? What is the value of making people feel comfortable to come together? Or, should we strip out the coffee bar and other amenities inside our church?