In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Caffeine & Pastoral Care

A business investment opportunity has presented itself in the last couple of weeks. Often, I'm not the type of person who jumps into business investments, but this one really has flirted with me.

I've always said that the two small businesses I think I would enjoy owning either a bookstore or a coffee shop. Well, one of my friends mentioned that she and her husband were considering opening a coffee shop in South Minneapolis. I mentioned it to the other half, and his ears also perked.

We've had a follow-up conversation about the reality of opening a coffee shop. They seem more and more excited about the idea. To be honest, I'm quite excited as well. I still don't know if this is an opportunity I will get to take. We don't have a lot of money to put into this. The timing is not perfect for us...but then, the timing may never be perfect.

One of the quirks of this coffee shop is that many of the owners and employees would be clergy. The family that we might (I must continue to stress the uncertainty of this proposition) has no less than four ordained ministers who may be working at this coffee shop. This potential location is near several medical facilities, so we pictured that families from the hospital could come to our coffee shop and get a listening ear. It would be a serving of caffeine and pastoral care.

This also makes me wonder if we label this a "Christian" coffee house. Of course, if I am invested in it, then it would be a "gay" coffee house as well. Maybe we can draw from both crowds...

I want to dwell on the "Christian" aspect of this coffee house. Often when I hear the word "Christian" used as an adjective before a profession, I cringe. I've heard of Christian hairdressers, Christian musicians, Christian therapists, etc. I'm trying to figure out what they do that makes them Christian, as opposed to the rest of us who claim Christ, but don't make it a part of our job title. We want our (potential) coffee house to be a Christian coffee house? Do we have to pipe Christian music into the whole place? Must we bless every cup of espresso?

OK - for some more serious questions: Does being a Christian Coffee House mean that we run the place like a non-profit? By no means! We are all investing with the intention to get some income from this coffee house. We can run the place according to our values (our progressive, liberal, Christian values), but we will also run for a profit.

The fact that many of us are Church people may make no difference to our (potential) clientele. We may not tell them that many of us are involved in the church. Maybe it's better that they only know us as the "coffee people". Our "caffeine ministry" may be more effective if we are not up front about our affiliation with the church.

OK - I'll keep you posted on what we decide. There are SO many factors that are going into this decision. I wish it was an easy decision. It could be great, or it could really be a drain.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:37 PM  
Blogger mark said...

From one "church nerd" to another, welcome to the blogosphere.
J is one of my blogging heroes, too. I think I motivated him to start, and now his blog is better and more popular than mine.
Looking forward to reading more!

8:54 PM  
Blogger me said...

interesting idea!

10:58 PM  

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