Feb. 23, 2012
Earlier this week, I wrote about my personal boycott of Starbucks because of its overt endorsement of a radical social agenda. For those caffeine-starved souls who have joined me and are now experiencing gargantuan headaches or, worse yet, visions of decaf (my heart goes out to you), take courage. The Christian coffee house movement is alive and well, and likely has an outpost in a neighborhood near you.
Many Christian entrepreneurs have taken advantage of the renewed coffee culture to open stores that not only serve great coffee but also share the love of Christ in sometimes subtle, sometimes overt ways. For example, at Jacob's Well Christian Coffeehouse in Rockville, Connecticut, they have been "sharing the Good News through the Performing Arts since 1995."
At Barnabas Christian Coffeehouse in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, their name comes from an early church leader whose name meant Son of Encouragement. As their website says, Everyone, at some point, needs to know that someone cares enough to share a burden or a joy. Encouragement, prayer, and most of all, the love of Jesus Christ, are the focal points at the Barnabas Coffeehouse.
And at the Coffee Connection in Mt. Shasta, California, their sole purpose is to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ ... This is accomplished primarily through the performing arts, fellowship and various community outreach programs.
Christian coffeehouses offer live music, display art, produce plays, and provide neighborhoods with safe and friendly alternatives to venues less conducive to conversation, recreation and reflection. And, often, they provide opportunities to talk about eternal things in an unthreatening atmosphere.
No one should argue for Christians segregating themselves into isolated enclaves: We have been left in the world for a reason, and most fundamentally that is to win others to Christ. That, in turn, means engagement with those who have not yet met Him at work, in community activities, and in places of business (like coffee shops). Yet an inviting, welcoming, open place, such as that available in Christian coffeehouses, can be a great way to introduce a friend to the reality that faith in Jesus is not only not weird, but transforms lives.
There are also coffee roasters from which you can order your daily java online; a couple of them are noted below. Here is just a small sampling of what's available; your local listings should be able to tell you what Christian coffee shops are closest to you: