Missional Cafe Communities in Asia

“Why are people so upset at the emerging church?”, Tim Wong asked me last night over a mango juice at a Balinese party.

We didn’t have time to plummet the jelloed depths of EC criticism, although I do enjoy the subject. But we did discuss cafe churches and how they have evolved from cheesy church-basement services in the 80’s [GUILTY AS CHARGED] to state-of-the-art, Über-Funky couch-clad temples of Java and Bible that they have now aspired to. Even here in Asia. Particularly in Asia, where cafe churches are sometimes accompanied by coffee roasteries, coffee bean farming, and associated businesses.

Cafe church coffee

The emerging church in Asia has been an inspiration to me for a long time. I have been greatly sharpened by the holistic Christian ashrams in India, the alternative Christian house-parties in Japan, the underground youth churches in China, and the micro-business social-enterprise based churches in Indonesia that I met a decade ago. And of course the cafe churches which are found all over Asia.

But Singapore has escaped my attention. I haven’t been to SIngapore for 2 decades and a lot has changed since the cell-church movement here was commanding attention in the 90’s.

Until last night. I was thrilled to hear that Tim and his friends, mostly Christian businesspeople, have been starting cafe churches in Singapore and now in other Asian countries.

Our vision is to “see as many missional cafes as there Starbucks outlets (17,000 and counting) across South East Asia and beyond, in the next 30 years.” Tim Wong


A fuller article will appear on a brand new blog shortly. I will put a link when I get it. The blog will feature over 30 bloggers and will launch next week.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • thats right, Mike . . . another link for your list
    I actually dont know much about the new collective blog – not even the name – but at least 30 bloggers, maybe more, will be contributing and it will appear on Patheos soon.

  • We just recently (3 weeks ago) moved to the Gaspe peninsula in Quebec. As we have started to check out churches in the area, we are feeling discouraged. There isn’t anything fresh/progressive going on here that we can find… I am starting to wonder if we need to consider starting something ourselves. Are you aware of any good resources for stuff like this?

  • Yes, Luke 10.
    Actually I havent been to Quebec for about 5 years but we had a great gathering in Montreal for em. church leaders and i am sure they would know. info should be on my blog if you google “montreal”

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