Christians and Coffee

So, I'm hanging out at Caribou today working on a teaching for our first Sunday gathering of "Vineyard South Loop" this Sunday.  I'm surprised... there are at least 2, 1on1 Bible studies going on here.  This got me to thinking... are "Christians" the biggest consumers of coffee???

Then, I'm reminded of part of Brandon's story.  Here's a copy of what he's written before... just for your thoughts.  ;)

When I first came to the Vineyard, I remember coming to church not knowing what to expect.  Much to my surprise, I was asked that day by the pastor if we could meet over coffee. Later that week, we met at Caribou Coffee [a different one than the one I'm at now], the typical hangout place nearby my house.   I remember thinking, “This pastor has a cool job.  He gets paid to have coffee and hang out with me.”  Over the course of the next few years, we met over coffee at Starbucks (a.k.a. St. Arbucks) or Caribou and I came to realize that his job was much more than just having coffee with me. 

As I looked around these coffee shops, I saw Bible studies happen all the time and also people building community. It was during these time of connecting with my pastor and later studying for VLI [Vineyard Leadership Institute] while sipping coffee that I realized God’s call for me to church plant. 

Fast forward a couple years later and you can find me as part of a team planting in the city.  We would try and get people to come to church but would not have much success but I saw that the coffee shops were always full. I started investigating and learned… 

Coffee shops are known as third places in their communities.  The third place used to be the church.  I began to think, “Why it is so much easier to get people (co-workers, neighbors, friends) to go to coffee with me than to get them to go to church?” Then, I began to think of all the money, we as leaders in the church spend on coffee.  Drinking it at church or drinking it out as we meet with people.  I thought, “What would it look like if we owned the coffee shop?  If it wasn’t a ‘religious place’ but a place everyone felt comfortable in and a place where ‘spiritual conversations’ could happen?” 

 That’s when I took God’s whispers and began to dig deeper.  As I researched I discovered the injustices that take place in the coffee industry - from the farmer to the barista.  If I was real about my faith, I had to do something.  I couldn’t release spiritual captives over coffee while enslaving the people who grew my coffee beans or knowing my favorite barista is receiving very little pay.  This was the collision.  Could I fight spiritual battles for individual souls and seek justice for those impacted by the coffee industry at the same time?  Was I even allowed to do both?

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