Say No to Bad Coffee – A Theology of Hospitality

Say No to Bad Coffee – A Theology of Hospitality

Good coffee matters, and so does your theology of hospitality. This past summer, the church I was working at tried a different approach to small groups during the summer. Rather than encouraging groups to meet throughout the summer months in homes and compete with vacations, travel, ball games, and pool parties, we decided to house our groups on our campus. Groups could meet, mingle with other groups, and not have the stress of hosting at their own home. It was a great idea on paper, and in some ways it worked and didn’t work in other ways. That’s an article for another day. Here’s one thing that definitely didn’t work: my coffee. I’m the master of making coffee in my own home with my own coffee pot. I’ve got the measurements down, and let’s be honest, I mostly use a Keurig. But making coffee in the large, commercial coffee maker at the church? Foreign territory. I had been trained by people who knew how to do it, and yet more than half the time, I still got it wrong somehow. The coffee I was brewing looked and tasted like motor oil. A coffee stirrer would stand straight up. It was thick. It was disgusting. Truth be told, I had a good relationship with most of the people who were coming on those Wednesday nights so the worst I risked was good-nature ribbing. I had tried, and that’s what counts, right? Maybe in that case yes, but when it comes to the hospitality ministry of your church… no. The hospitality ministry of your church makes a significant impact on guest retention...
Two Truths About Small Group Ministry

Two Truths About Small Group Ministry

For nearly a year, I’ve been coordinating the small group ministry at our church. When you plant a church, there are dreams and visions for what every aspect of your new congregation could and should be. Inevitably, some things go better than you could ever dream and other things take longer to get off the ground. For us, we had a big dream of having 60% of our average adult attendance in small groups within 3 years. Our highest participation rate in our first three years was between 25-30%. It is not anyone’s “fault” that we had yet to hit our goal. However there are two truths about small group ministry I wish someone had told us before we started. I’ll tell you now so you’re ahead of the curve: 1) Small Group Ministry is way harder than anyone will admit. Recruiting leaders, training leaders, coaching leaders, choosing or writing curriculum, advertising groups, helping groups launch, helping groups multiply, helping people find groups, helping people switch groups, deciding what to do about summer… It’s a lot. When there’s a breakdown in any area, your whole small group ministry will feel it. I’d love to tell you the secret formula, but I’m beginning to believe it doesn’t exist. There’s no shortcut for hard work. If you’re convinced that there’s no better context for discipleship to happen at your church than small groups, then don’t lose heart. Find ways to be efficient when possible, over-communicate with your team of leaders, pray a whole lot, and work insanely hard. Hear it from me, your church can’t do small group ministry as a...