We had a really good cafe church last night. Costa was heaving with people, there was a great atmosphere and we had an interesting conversation about fair trade and why it's spiritual as well as an economic issue.
But I did come away with some questions. The fact that we were heaving with only 35 or so people means there's not a lot of room for growth or making the project economically viable on the current model. And the fact that the venue was so full - not usually a problem - meant that it wasn't quite as chilled as we was would have liked.
I also wondered how we could use it to reach those not normally in church. We had one or two people come in off the street wanting a coffee, which was fine. But they didn't join in the 'event'. Rather they went downstairs or got a take-away.
One way forward would be to encourage church folk to bring a friend, even to the extent of not allowing church folk in unless they've got a friend. This would ensure that getting on for half the participants were non-church people. But it would exclude enthusiastic supporters and pray-ers for the project and that would be a great pity.
I think it's worth persevering with it because I'm convinced that it could be a way of reaching people who are interested in exploring spirituality but wouldn't darken the doors of a church. But we have to look at the model we are using with a view to giving it a more missional edge.
I'd be interested to know what people who've been to ours think and what experience others have had who are doing similar things in other places. Feel free to comment...