I want to continue with this thought of the church body meeting in a coffee shop. There are a few reasons this idea stuck with me when I first thought of it. The first reason was because a cafe atmosphere is a breeding ground for conversation. Probably the biggest drawback to our current Sunday morning format is that it just doesn’t allow for much discussion to happen. I’m not saying that the current church model is not somewhat effective, that people have not been changed, but what I am saying is that one of the drawbacks to the way we do church is that there is not much room for life to happen. Most church goers are in a building once a week and during the majority of the time they are sitting and listening, or standing and singing. yes it’s true we offer small or community groups outside of this, but the majority of the congregation usually does not come out to these things. Again this is not true for every church, but I believe it’s true for most.
My motivation for this idea (which I really want to do in the future) is because we all agree the church is not a building. Yet our actions show that we believe that the church is mainly a building. Most things the church does is in the “church building” and not out in the community.
Imagine walking in to a coffee shop Sunday morning and seeing a group of people discussing the word of God. Imagine seeing someone teaching others something about the christian faith in a circle sunday morning around a cup of coffee. Imagine what a person would say seeing this coffee shop that the frequent full of life, of discussion, of community. For some reason the employees are genuinely interested in the customers because the employees don’t see them as customers, they see them as people. The church (the people) is a part of the community, they are smack dab in the middle of life where they are encountering people in the community daily. It’s only a matter of time before Jesus comes up in a conversation, it’s only a matter of time before the regulars become friends.
To me this is one of the many ways the church can reveal itself. This model might not be right for every setting, but i think for my generation it is a huge need. Many people are not looking for a place to go, to sit, stand, sit, stand, repeat. They are not looking for a place to go where they can listen to someone speak to them, they are looking for a safe place to be heard. It is essential to realize that church is not a place we go to, it is a life we live. The church is living, breathing, moving, and growing, if the majority of that happens once a week then it’s not really doing much the other 6 days. We need to get the focus off of Sunday morning and learn to live in the church continually. How we do this is for another blog post.
Worship music, a sermon, an alter call, announcements, they are great things, and all have been used by God. But my question is are they necessary? What if people got together every Sunday morning, shared a cup of coffee together, listened to someone teach and then responded by talking about it in a smaller group? Is this another viable option for our Sunday morning routine?
And what about leadership? I propose a leadership team, not a single lead pastor. Crazy you might say but hear me out. When you have a team of people who own the vision, the responsibilities are shared. Now a pastor can actually pastor (shepherd) people, and the teacher can actually teach people. Elders can mentor and disciple the younger men and women. When you’re in a group of leaders the will of God is able to be discerned in a clear way because now your thoughts are being bounced off of other people who share the same heart. It’s no longer just about what one person is hearing, it’s about what the group is hearing.
This might be crazy, I might be in LA-LA land, but I don’t think I am. I think this is possible, and I think it is necessary.