In attempt to get back into blogging, I’m just gonna tell you all about a cool new addition to Rancho Community Church. It’s our “Coffee Shoppe”.
We opened it up two weeks ago and it was a HUGE hit. Apparently we’ve been planning on a coffee shop for years, it just never got traction until now. But we’ve got it open now and it’s amazing what is happening: People are connecting. There’s just something about having food or drink and a place to sit, an area to hang out that attracts people.
One of the strangest things that we noticed when we first came to Rancho Community was that the place seemed to “empty out” when the worship services ended. People just disappeared. At first, Jen and I thought maybe it was a fluke, or maybe we were weird, but after talking with people and staff members, we realized that this was really an issue. There was really nothing “to do” after church – nowhere to go or hang out. So people naturally filed out, picked up their kids and drove away.
This brings me to the point: I believe that people need a “place” to congregate, to connect. And I also believe that “if you build it, they will come”. Creating space designed for people to connect is crucial. I mean, it’s not as important as say, preaching the Gospel, or baptism – but it is an important piece of the puzzle when building a church and making connections, at least in our culture. We have this desire to connect, but we also have this thing about space and comfort levels – especially in Southern California where we don’t even talk to our neighbors. But…
When we create space for casual connections, such as a coffee shop, people are naturally drawn to it. Connections happen, which turn into conversations, which are the building blocks of relationships.
I’m excited to see that Rancho Community is embracing this idea, and I’m excited to see this little idea grow and be an anchor for connections at our church.
On a more technical level, here’s some of strategy behind the launch:
- I used this amazing graphic as inspiration
- I also used the “Coffee with a Cause” (great concept!) from that graphic. It was a last minute idea to help keep the “Global Impact / Missions” project in front of our congregation throughout the year.
- We basically cut our outdoor “Info Center” in half using printed backdrops with the logo, color, and photos of our Peru missionaries.
- The Coffee Shoppe proceeds go to support the work in Peru (church planting, missionary training, micro-businesses).
- The shop serves Seattle’s Best Coffee (a Starbucks product), along with muffins & donuts.
- Right now it’s open before and after all Sunday morning worship services (8, 9:10, and 10:45am) – with plans to open during many other services & events throughout the week and on the weekend.
- Follow the Coffee Shoppe on Twitter @coffee_shoppe for updates and coupons
- Join the Fan Page on Facebook