Several times a year at my church, we run something that we have called Café Kindness. It’s happening again this week, as we prepare for Back to Church Sunday on 26th September.
What is Café Kindness? It’s a place to which we invite anyone to come and enjoy a free cup of tea or coffee and some cake. We fit out the entrance foyer of our church building as a café, with easy chairs and tables. We open up for about three hours a day. Some of us go out into the nearby streets to invite passers-by to come along. And some do! We welcome them, we listen to them and, if it’s appropriate, having shared our faith through our actions, we also do it with our words. Through it, we have seen a Hindu couple join the church as regular worshippers, we have enlisted a couple of people on an Alpha Course, and we have ministered to many people through simply being there for them.
For me, the beauty of Café Kindness is that it is a non-threatening method of evangelism in which anyone in the church can be involved, whatever their gifts. Some bake cakes for us, some come along and serve tea and coffee, some are happy to converse with our guests, some will go onto the streets and invite and, of course, all can pray. In one or more of these ways, everyone in the church can consider themselves to be an evangelist! Often, too, those who would not think of themselves as gifted in sharing their faith in words, end up doing just that. They might be surprised by that, but not God. I think God knows just how to get the best out of people, and urges us on in ways we could not have imagined.