Why Drinking Coffee Doesn’t Save People and Why Serving Coffee Does

5 Reasons Why We Serve Coffee at Our Church

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We’ve allowed people to drink coffee during our worship services for quite some time now. Yes, it creates a relaxed atmosphere, but I’ve questioned its long-term effectiveness.  The more I think about it, the more I realize that coffee itself isn’t special.  It’s what happens in the process of serving and drinking that has the potential of changing lives.

Why Serving Coffee Matters

Changing lives, you say? Yes. In a world of selfishness, people are longing to authentically connect. And connecting as a community is a biblical concept.  In writing to the Churches in Galicia and Ephesus, Paul wrote:

“…do not use your [new] freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13, NIV)

How do you serve and love one another?

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32, NIV)

All too often we let these texts speak to us in a reactive way.  When something negative happens, we put on our loving and serving hats and try to make the situation positive.

But… what if we wanted to create a positive culture to begin with?  What if loving and serving actually described our Church community?  What if Christians engaged in authentic love and concern with fellow Christians?

I believe one of the ways we can proactively create a positive atmosphere, is by helping people connect with each other.One of the ways we can proactively create a positive atmosphere, is by helping people connect. Click To Tweet

Want people to talk? Give them a coffee or a tea and a place to connect.

Here are 5 reasons why we serve coffee at Bethel:

1. Serving coffee provides social connection.

Our culture demands food when we connect together.  If you want to have an effective social event, there better be lots of food and coffee.  Likewise, if you show up to an event and refreshments are served, your social cues encourage people to connect.

2. Serving coffee inspires relationship.

A conversation, with a tea or coffee in hand, usually leads further than a conversation without.  You may think that’s an overstatement, and it probably is for those who like to talk.  For those who are a little socially awkward, however, having something to drink can break the ice and fill-in empty space.

3. Serving coffee invites participation.

Our coffee cart is a “self-serve” one.  One of our goals is for people to engage others in service.   Everyone has the ability to make a donation for their coffee, perhaps donate for someone else’s coffee, or simply offer to make a coffee for a newcomer.  Participation is an active ingredient in servant-hood.

4. Serving coffee allows for common ground.

It doesn’t matter what store-bought coffee you buy or drink, or even if you don’t buy coffee at a café at all, everyone is on common ground when we serve coffee.  Everyone is drinking from the same generic cup.   With that said, technology (ie. Keurig) allows us to offer a little bit of everything to help satisfy the cravings.

5. Serving coffee demands a seating area.

You can drink coffee just about anywhere, but as soon as you serve coffee to someone, people need a place to sit down.  If people sit down, they start talking, connecting and listening and the Church becomes that much closer to an authentic community.

To help facilitate, we allow people give a donation. There’s no pressure to drop some money in the jar, but we encourage those who can buy their coffee, to buy into this ministry of community.

Your turn…

Serving coffee certainly isn’t the only way to connect…

How have you helped people connect? Has coffee worked for you? Does something else work in your context? What would you like your local church to do to encourage people to connect?

I would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below, on social media, or by email (andrewholm@gmail.com).  SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Dear Dad, Happy Father’s Day!

An Open Letter of Understanding

dear DadReading Time: 3 minutes

Dear Dad,

Two years into this fatherhood thing, and I have it all figured out. Not exactly.

In reality, I’m in more over my head today than I was on February 22, 2014 – when I became a dad myself.  Life is crazy.  Life is fast.  And life doesn’t seem to stop, to let me think and get it right the first time.  Instead, life seems to be series of mistakes that I somehow learn from.  But I’m writing all this to you and you’re nodding your head, because you’ve already been there – with me.

I just finished sharing a Father’s Day sermon that I titled: “Going the Distance.”  Jesus said that the narrow path is difficult to find and hard to pursue, but that journey leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). I’ll be honest, it wasn’t difficult to think of ways you’ve gone the distance as a dad.  Here are some of things I’ve learned from your influence in my life:

  1. Being happy and content is a choice worth making.

I’m going to be honest – it sometimes makes me sick how happy you are. Life isn’t always perfect, but with God, we can be perfectly content. #LessonsFromDad Click To TweetThere were times (ie. during your knee replacement) that I just wanted to tell you, “You can be upset if you want to be…you’re allowed…you don’t have to smile if you knee is every shade of blue, red and purple.”  But with every simile and decision to see the positive, I slowly learned (and probably still learning) that being happy and content is a choice not a reaction. Life isn’t always perfect, but with God, we can be perfectly content.

  1. Parenthood is really servanthood.

I’m humbly living this one every day.  I look back at my childhood and I can’t remember lacking anything, and yet you went back to school later in life and money was clearly tight.  I’m learning that parenting is really about serving. #LessonsFromDad Click To TweetI remember being frustrated with so many little things, and yet you provided in ways that made my life easier and your life a little harder.  Everything from turning down career advancements to helping pay for my education.  Time and time again, you thought of me before yourself – it’s a godly principle of selflessness. I’m now a dad to a little girl, who I love dearly, and I’m learning that parenting is really about serving.  Your godly example is what I have to follow.

  1. Respect is difficult to teach, but vital in life.

I know you probably said, “Listen to your mother” more than you wanted, but I learned the importance of respecting those around me – especially women.  I learned the importance of respecting those around me – especially women. #LessonsFromDad Click To TweetTruth be told, I probably never quite understood that until I had a daughter.  Mom was outnumbered, three to one growing up, so family dynamics were slightly different.  I’m already outnumbered, so you can tell mom the tide has turned!  All joking aside, you’re desire to teach respect has instilled much value in me to be an example for my daughter as she learns what to expect from the future men in her life.

I could list more, but this summarizes you well.  Thanks for “going the distance,” and finding and choosing the narrow path. I’m proud to call you dad and I’m even prouder to know your influence on me will impact how I parent my daughter and future children.

Thanks dad! Happy Father’s Day!

Your turn…

What have you learned from your dad?  …if you can, give him a call.

I would love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment below, on social media, or by email (andrewholm@gmail.com).  SUBSCRIBE HERE!