Welcome and Welcome Back!

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Have you ever watched a makeover on TV where the beauty expert pulls someone from the audience and, building on what is already working well for that person, gives them a refreshing update? Well, Coffee Break is turning 44 this fall and we think it’s time to push the refresh button! The plans for an update began last winter through a research project in which the experts—Coffee Break leaders just like you—helped us rediscover what is already beautiful about Coffee Break and showed us which areas could use some refreshing.

What’s already beautiful about Coffee Break? You told us that the heart and soul of Coffee Break is that it is a small group discovery approach that works brilliantly for both discipleship and evangelism. Here’s what you said you love about that approach:

Do-it-yourself discovery. Many opportunities for learning about the Bible are passive. People listen to pastors, read devotionals, and learn from teachers. A Coffee Break group provides a hands-on approach where people read the text themselves, answer questions, and then talk together about what they discovered. At Coffee Break participants actively engage Scripture and meet God through his Word.

Do-it-together learning. In the small group environment, people learn together, share ideas, and build community. I know from personal experience that I gain a deeper and wider knowledge of Scripture when I talk with others about it. And, I have witnessed those ‘aha’ moments of others in small groups.

Do-it-with-your-neighbors engagement. Unlike most Bible study materials, which are intended for use within the church and therefore contain church language and references, Coffee Break materials like the Discover Your Bible series use a simple skeleton of engaging questions that invite people to interact directly with the text. The materials work with people who have no previous experience with the Bible and they work with long-time Christians. As people read the Bible together, something wonderful happens—they grow spiritually, they love each other, and they can’t help but invite others to join in the experience.

What will be refreshed and updated in Coffee Break?

Communication. We’re reenergizing communication with Coffee Break leadership through a quarterly e-newsletter designed to share information, inspiration, and ideas from leaders and with leaders. You’re looking at the first issue now! Sign up here to receive the quarterly e-newsletter.

Design. We’re planning to improve the look and feel of Coffee Break materials to make them more user-friendly.

Tools. We’re testing a new digital format for Discover Your Bible study tools and leadership resources this fall. We’ve invited 10 Coffee Break groups to participate in a pilot project and provide us with feedback on the format. Interested in learning more about the project? Email me at [email protected] 

This is a learn-as-we-go project, and we’re looking forward to hearing your input and ideas about what we should do together to reignite the mission of Coffee Break. In fact, we need your input right now to help us name this newsletter! What are your ideas for what we might call this new Coffee Break communication? Send them here.

So, welcome and welcome back! For some of you, leading a Coffee Break small group, or children’s ministry program may be a whole new experience. We hope that this e-newsletter will be a great resource for you. And we hope you will bring your questions and fresh insights to the conversation. For others, receiving a Coffee Break newsletter will be like old times. You may have been missing the opportunity to talk with others, learn together and be encouraged in your ministry through a newsletter format. We value your experience and vision. Please lead the conversation as we work together.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Sam Huizenga, 
Discipleship and Coffee Break Catalytic Leader, CR Home Missions
[email protected]

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