Christian Coffee House

I've been thinking about Christian venues the last few days: cafes, concert venues, hostels and so on. Places run by Christians, but primarily for the general public. Places that offer a good venue for Christian events, places that provide a good venue for cultural events and discussion for anyone. Places that may employ people trying to get back on their feet, places for general 'marketplace' interaction with non-Christians. I'm not so much thinking about businesses on church property, but businesses out in the thick of things - open for outsiders, not just the after-church Starbucks.

In a lot of missionary situations, part of being a missionary is also being a founder... of hospitals, schools, businesses. That can get lost here in Australia. A lot of our ministries begin small and scale up slowly. The exciting and risky think about a business is that it's a huge investment upfront. There's something really cool about that.

What do you think about these sorts of projects? What are your experiences of it? I'd be keen to hear stories of where it has worked or why it hasn't.

How would you go about it? How would it be organisationally related to the local church? Who runs it? Who owns it? How do you combine employees with volunteers? How to you balance good business with a possible Christian financial support base?

Please give me your thoughts, but let's avoid cynical responses for now, ok?