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How do you invite people to your Coffee Break ministry? How do you make your ministry an inviting place for those who attend regularly and for newcomers?

We wanted to provide leaders with great ideas for inviting people to Coffee Break and for creating a Coffee Break culture that was inviting. So we went to the experts — Coffee Break ministry leaders —​​​​​​​ and asked three of them to share what their ministry does to invite and to be inviting. Their responses were so wonderful that we decided to create a “Mug Shot” profile on each of them! You’ll find the first one below.

Mug Shot: Profile of a Coffee Break from Bellflower, CA.

Started in 1983 with two leaders from the church and two members from the community, the Coffee Break ministry at First CRC in Bellflower, CA, had 88 ladies register in 2015. Of that number 70% are from the community and represent a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities in addition to a wide range of Biblical knowledge and experience. When asked how they help women feel welcome, Director Dora Clark told us about sidewalk greeters, preschool performances, potluck lunches and more.

Q. How are people invited to your Coffee Break ministry?

We used to do canvassing around the neighborhood, but not lately. In recent years the majority of our ladies have come through word of mouth — by being invited by existing members.

We also have three special programs each year: a kick-off in September, a Christmas Special and an Easter Special in the spring. We try to have speakers and also testimonies at these specials, and this has worked well in bringing in new people.

One pleasant surprise was when we replaced our old sign in front of church with a bright, new bigger sign, and some new ladies came after seeing the new sign while walking by, or riding the city bus!

Q. How do you make your Coffee Break “inviting” to those who attend —​​​​​​​ and for those who are first-timers?

Sidewalk Greeters. We have two church ladies who are our "sidewalk greeters." They stand outside in the morning to welcome the ladies, to show them where to go, and if they have children, where to find the nursery and Little Lambs areas. Very often the sidewalk greeters catch new ones walking by! We also have a woman remain by the door of our fellowship hall to welcome everyone and to introduce new people to others.

Something Yummy. Every week there is an abundance of coffee, tea and baked goods which we serve before the Bible Study begins.

Preschool Performances. Our Little Lambs program consists mostly of preschoolers, so we like to have them perform for all the ladies twice a year. Although the performances are very brief with the children singing a couple of songs and reciting their memory verse, family members are invited to attend and that brings grandmas, aunts and sometimes even fathers to see what the ministry is all about. One family started attending our Sunday morning church services, after a father saw his little girl singing Bible songs and decided this was a good place for his family!

Potluck Lunches. We also have at least three big potluck lunches each year (one mid-autumn, one near Valentine’s Day and one on the last day of the season) which help to blend the groups and encourage casual fellowship.

Birthday Celebrations. Last year we also started monthly birthday lunches during which we celebrate the birthdays that occurred during that month and we’ve found that those celebrations have also worked well in connecting our ladies with each other.

How about you? How do you invite people to Coffee Break? What are some of the ways that make your Coffee Break inviting? Share your ideas in the Comments box below.

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