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Coffee Talk (a cure for new-church isolation)

A few months ago we started to do "coffee talks" at a local independent coffee shop. We stole the idea from Tadd Grandstaff and Pine Ridge Church. As you can tell from the pics below we moved this month's gathering to "The Empire: Starbucks" because of some repairs being made to the independent up the road.

The concept is simple. If you've started to attend Captivate Church in the last 8 weeks, we'll buy your drink. If you're a part of Captivate we'd like you to come and welcome new families to the church. It's a simple but effective way of getting people connected who may never realize others share similar interests.

From our staff's perspective we know a lot more about families in our church than they usually know about one another. We typically spend time during the coffee talks getting to know recent additions to the church and then going across the room and introducing them to someone who share similar interests.

Last night we had a volunteer fireman who is also a police officer get introduced to a full time fireman and then later in the evening I introduced both of them to a college student who is taking the fireman exam in about a month. These guys had a connection based on fire fighting that they may not have realized just by attending services each Sunday.

When people come to the church they find out that we exist to send them on mission for Christ. Anyone attending Captivate for more than a week understands that. What we as a church understand is that in order to be fulfilled while on mission our people need the feeling of connectedness with one another.

When you look across the room at a stranger and then you find out you share 15 years of an interest (hobby, job, unusual workout routine, etc.), you instantly have a 15 year bond with this stranger. He/She knows many of your frustrations, hurts, pains and victories. Then when they talk about the mission of the church together, they now have some common language already built in to unite together and get a task done.

No one likes to feel alone. The only thing worse than being alone is being alone in a crowded room.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Thursday, August 26, 2010


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