So it becomes very important that everything about our building (design, colors, shapes, layout, etc.) communicate a sense of belonging, warmth, caring. . .and even fun! That’s one reason we have dedicated space for a wonderful children’s playground!
We believe that a typical church building in this postmodern culture is not typically well suited to accomplish this. While a multipurpose gathering space is obviously needed, the building should clearly convey that it was built for others, not just for us.
Toward this goal, we’ll establish an actual coffee shop that is open to the public like any other coffee shop. We’ve talked with multiple coffee shops, managers, baristas, etc. And several of these do more than serve great coffee; they are active communities of faith.
Our coffee shop manager would, in effect, be a pastor to this community, for the coffee shop is just as much the church as the multipurpose/worship space. It’s another place where relationships can be established and faith explored. It’s another place to do life with people.
Workers could include anyone from the church, and possibly college students we could challenge and reach by sharing this vision and providing opportunities to serve. And, of course, we could hire and train baristas just like any other coffee shop.
An outdoor seating area could be utilized to bring that “front porch” feel that conveys invitation and warmth. We want people to settle in and linger, just like they would in someone’s home. Again, we want people to feel like extended family, where we know them by name, and hope they stay for as long as they want. One phrase which speaks to this is:
“There are no strangers here, just friends who haven’t met.”
Some potential “friends” we can meet are found when we look at the demographics of our location. There are more moms and kids in our area than we can possibly count. Elementary schools are everywhere and filled to the brim. But that’s not all. A “fitness studio” could easily fit into this picture, something that both men and women could enjoy at designated or reserved times. And this workout area is as much “the church” as anything else.
Picture one possible scenario: The coffee shop, workout area, and programming for parents, all working in conjunction with each other to provide young families a place to bring their kids, workout together, or have coffee together, or both. And we’d be there to do this part of life WITH them. We could also have nice biking and walking trails around the property.