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“I thought that was against the Coffee Break rules,” she said. I was talking with a leader from a church who has hosted a vibrant Coffee Break for many years. She was telling me that their group is getting smaller. Things have changed. More women are working, families are busy and perhaps more suspicious about an invite to a church Bible study.

How do leaders adapt to a changing context? What do we need to learn about ourselves and our community?

I was telling her about a Coffee Break group in Living Springs Church in Glenwood, IL, when she mentioned the “Coffee Break Rules.” Living Springs developed a children’s ministry and called it AMAZED. (Follow this link to read the post). She asked, “Don’t we have to call it 'Story Hour'? Isn’t that a Coffee Break rule?” That’s a great question!

A good follow up question might be, what are the shared practices (rather than rules) of Coffee Break groups that have been effective for evangelism and discipleship?

  • Word Centered - The Word does the work as people discover together what the Bible says and means.
  • Evangelism and Discipleship - People meet Jesus through His Word and the Word gently begins to change and impact their lives, families and communities.
  • Welcoming Community - 'Come as you are' small groups where everyone is welcome.  No previous Bible study experience needed.
  • Discovery Style Learning - Leaders facilitate the conversation using questions. The simple skeleton of questions in the study guides allow everyone to  fully participate. 
  • Conversational  - The name “Coffee Break” was chosen almost 50 years ago to express a relaxed, friendly conversation. 
  • Prayer Centered - We are dependent upon the leading of the Holy Spirit.
  • Contextual and Personalized - The simple methods of Word centered conversations translate beautifully from one culture and context to another. Groups can happen in living rooms, coffee shops, community rooms, and churches.

Now, what about leadership in 2018? We are called to go and make disciples. How do we communicate Coffee Break/Discover Your Bible practices in our changing culture? What do we need to change? How might we learn what the Spirit is up to in our changing communities?  What adaptations have you already made? Let’s learn together. If you would like to join a group with other leaders to explore these questions, email [email protected] or connect with a Coffee Break Team member near you!

To discuss: What are the goals of your Coffee Break or small group ministry? 

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