Evangelistic coffee mornings
Over many years I have been involved with church based coffee mornings. Some of them have been a great blessing and gone on to bring folk to the Saviour, others have ran well for a while and then come to nothing.
I know of a few that have been going for many years, but make no impact for the gospel. I remember sitting at a table in one such and asked the group sat with me if they went to church, they hardly knew they were in a church! Yet they had been going to the coffee morning for months! (No one had invited them to a church service! I spoke to another lady and she was delighted to get an invitation to the Sunday morning service, where she has now attended for years. The Coffee morning ran for many years and is now closed.
I went into another church and sat down on my own with a cup of coffee. I was given a welcome at the door. As I sat there I listened to the workers on another table talking about how few folk seemed to come in. I drank my coffee alone and then left. No one sat with me or tried to make contact.
I asked one church I was serving alongside if I could start a coffee morning, the leaders were reluctant because they had one in the past and it hardly brought anyone in on the mornings. I did start one and it was a great blessings with plenty of support. We went out for the first few weeks inviting folk in from a main road nearby. The first morning several folk came in.
There is no doubt that this method of contact can be very effective to bring new people to church, but we need to think through what our aims are, and then set about achieving them.
Some churches may not have the community around them to develop this ministry, but others can be ideally situated. So how do we set about having an effective regular church based coffee morning?
Bring together those who have an interest and a concern to reach the lost, and would be available to help on the morning. Spend time in prayer asking the Lord for his guidance and help in reaching out. (It would be great to meet for prayer before the Coffee morning when it started also.)
Is there a Market day? Do mums have to pass to take children to school? They could drop in on the way past, so consider an early opening time. Which is pension day? A church in Frodsham opened on Market day, another in Urmston have a lunchtime meal on every Market day which many of the Stall holders attend.
Put together a small invitation leaflet or card. On one side put the coffee morning, on the other an invite to church. This can be used to invite people.
Set the room up to create a good atmosphere, make sure it is warm and cosy, but don’t forget security if other areas of the church are open to unwanted visitors!
Have a couple of workers go out on the morning to give out invites and also to bring people in with them. Have other helpers waiting to chat to those who do come in. This is important, to make contact with those who come it.
Have a good selection of literature available and draw attention to this when folk are leaving. A children’s book library can be very good for families. Some churches have a good display of Christian cards and these can be much appreciated.
Don’t settle for ‘instant coffee’, rather get a machine and offer a variety, such as latte, cappuccino, espresso etc, also have some homemade cakes available, and fresh fruit. Make no charges but have a ‘gift box’ near the counter.
Something to share
It is always worth considering having a testimony or a topical talk from time to time. It need not be every week, but perhaps once a month. At least, at some time during the morning, there could be announcements and a welcome to the services.
Looking back…. (Personal experience.)
Our first effort with a coffee morning it went wonderfully well. We chose the morning of the Market day, so there were many people passing the church.
We had a short message once a month and made a number of friends, but a fantastic development was that some folk also went on the stay, when we started a soup lunch, with a short Bible Study. So many were built up and encouraged.
This is a ministry which can bring new life into the church. I was converted because I went into a church for a free coffee!
Once you start don’t give up, but keep going and blessing is sure to follow.
I would welcome any other suggestions to make a Church Coffee Morning more effective.
People love to chat drinking coffee.