Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Taking the Mission to the Coffee House


Here is a great post from Jer Dunlap a pioneer Church Planter in Nashville, TN. He offers seven insights for taking the mission to his local coffee house:

1. Always tip. No matter what you purchase. The best money I spend is the .50 added to the $1.42...for the employee to get my coffee mug. (If you get a speciality coffee, minimum tip is a buck!) Why? Many people behind the coffee bar at your local artsy coffee house are struggling artisans who appreciate the extra cash.

2. Be you. Fakes are sniffed out the moment they walk through the door. Do not attempt to be an artist, musician, or comment on things you do not know. The most annoying person in a coffee house - someone who has an opinion on everything (and does not know much of anything).

3. Do not use the coffee house to "build your church". It annoys people...and can ruin a good cup of coffee. Make friends to care about, minister to, and then invite them into your journey. It will take time. Do not start off any conversation with, "you should come to my event" verbiage.

4. Listen more than you talk. At first, questions should outnumber answers and opinions three to one. Earn the right to "say what you think."

5. Engage the people behind the bar. Do not simply pay for your coffee and move on. Talk to them. Many of them - want to talk to you.

6. Judge not. Artistic coffee houses attract many types of people, backgrounds, sexual orientations, and social demographic levels. Treat no one with more time...than anyone else based upon the "type" of person... or worse - what they could offer you.

7. Learn to appreciate all kinds of music. I am naturally a fan of all types of music. If you're not - learn. In an artistic coffee house you will hear every and any style. (Particularly in Nashville) It is not smart, unless you are known there, to criticize what is playing over the public speakers. There is a good chance that someone behind that coffee bar chose the music playing for a reason. (Even worse: the music may be the creation of someone behind that coffee bar. Offending the art of an never good.)

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