Design & Construction

Creating Community Around Tables

One church's measuring point of success is how long it takes someone to leave the campus, in reference to people staying to connect with friends.

Four churches who are redefining hospitality through café space implement cafés that vary wildly based on mission and context.


Cathy Hutchison  ·  April 16, 2018

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Think back to the best conversation you remember… Was it around a table? Were there coffee cups and the hum of an espresso machine in the background? Did you linger for hours after a meal because the discussion was just too engaging to get up and leave?

Cafés are social. The best ones are filled with inviting places to sit, welcoming smiles, delicious scents, and tastes that make you dawdle so you can enjoy every bit.

In our everything-all-the-time world, they invite us to pause long enough to sit face-to-face, savoring the conversation and each other’s company.

How churches implement cafes varies wildly based on mission and context. They can range from a small, comfortable space in the lobby to commercial enterprises that are 100 percent focused on the external community.

Here are four different approaches by churches who have recently added cafés:

Coffee aficionados aiming for a big mission
“One of our measuring points of success for the café is how long it takes you to leave the campus. We know we are doing church right when people are staying to connect with friends,” shares James Sunnock, Pastor of Victory Life Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.

The idea for a coffee shop was driven by Sunnock’s passion for good coffee and a lack of options in the town. “Our city had a Dunkin Donuts and Speedway coffee culture. People who enjoyed good coffee had to drive to Kalamazoo or Grand Rapids.” Sunnock grins, “I got tired of driving.”

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By LeeBaran on May 4, 2018

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