Coffee and Tools
While the church as a whole should be discouraged from being a subculture rather than a counterculture, if this trend is going to continue, it ought to continue in a manner that cultivates community, relationships, knowledge, and an attitude of support. Use of the vogue is does not guarantee the patronization of the public or the opportunity to bring “Judea and Samaria” to you. Here are a few ideas that can be put into practice:
-Remember that this is a business created to generate opportunities to share faith. It is not an auto-evangelizer. Plus, smart business practices (returned profits, great customer service, networking) still apply.
-An active community presence can create a larger customer base, and build great relationships with other business owners.
-Have a knowledgeable staff. It’s a coffeehouse, so don’t just have someone to pour Folgers and Folgers decaf. Encourage your staff to always learn about coffee, tea, and your other products.
-Support artists. The poetry of art can have an impact that a four-point sermon cannot. Treat your artists well, and network with them.
-If you’re going to have music, create the right environment for artists. Good songwriters and performers usually prefer a little help with sound, an emcee, and good publicity (that is, appropriate to your customer base). Imagine what would help them connect well with an audience, and if you don’t know, ask.
-Be willing to spend money. Artists often will play for free, but don’t expect that of them. For many artists, that is their only income. Plus, good coffee doesn’t come cheap. It went up 50¢ per pound in fall 2006.
-Have good theology, and a loving tongue. You will, if you cultivate discussion (and you should), run into all sorts of ideas. Know when to speak (and when to be silent) and what to say.
-Understand that there are many things you don’t know. Visit successful coffeehouses. See what works and what doesn’t (and why). Know how to apply this to your customer base.
-Please be creative and don’t use God’s name in vain. There are enough places called Holy Ground and enough clever knick-knacks with ten-cent variations of our Lord’s name and his words in existence.
-As with all things, go with God’s leading. Always prepare the staff and operations of this business with prayer and meditation.