“In one country I visited an organization that used coffee houses as a means of reaching the untapped generation. New converts were required to sign a pledge that they would not join any church. They would meet together for Bible study in their coffee house, have prayer meetings, and try to carry on the same functions of a church. The organization itself became a reactionary church, its members parading around saying, “We’ve got something better than the rest of you have.” They snub their noses, as it were, at those who are the church “squares.””
David and Don Wilkerson, The Untapped Generation, pg 204.
That book was written in 1971 but there are still some a few emerging churches in coffee houses that snub their noses at the rest of the church and, thankfully, there are many more who do not. Our coffee-shop church experiment in USA, way back in the late 1980’s, got pulled by the elders of our Evangelical Free Church because they didn’t really understand it. But later efforts in the nineties found a better balance between staying connected with the traditional and enjoying the “third space” atmosphere of an emerging church in a coffee shop.
If you are interested in the 40 year journey of the emerging church, then come and hear me speak at Greenbelt Festival this month on “The Emerging Church is like a Box of Chocolates”
Related: Emerging Church in 1970 and Emergent Church in 1980
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