Lots of newspapers, muffins, coffee, cafe tables. Open for about 2 hours on a Sunday am. Emergent kiwi Steve wants to start a cafe church. Justin Beader from Seattle comments on this idea. And Andrew Jones, who just moved his extensive family from Prague to London, where the first thing he did was find an internet cafe where he could blog, also has some good advice:
1. Go WiFi. Give people the option of surfing the net wirelessly during the event. You might want to think about what you want them to look at or track online that will enhance the theme.
2. Preaching is awkward. Open mike is better. Have lots of people give short stories, poems, readings, whatever. 5 minute limit.
3. Coffee shop dynamics and aesthetics mean that people can look if they want but they don’t have to. You have to win their attention. Don’t force everyone to give attention.
4. Obviously people will be getting their coffee and tea during the event. Make it easy for them to get it anytime without interrupting anything.
5. If you use an open mike, anyone is allowed to share. You will have non-Christians get up and read their poetry or thoughts as well, so be prepared for that. It sometimes helps to have a host who can guide the event and then have the final word.
6. Music. I would go for either a DJ who can create a relaxing background soundscape, or I would go for a guitarist who may lead some accoustic songs from a stool. No more than 2 or 3 musicians. Less is more. Don’t put a band up there - overkill!
7. If people are sitting around at tables, which I assume they are, you can create some exercises or table-based discussions that get them interacting and contributing.
A nice example of a pub church is BarNone in Cardiff, Wales.