The four elements of great coffeehouses

April 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm 3 comments


(Jon) The article is aimed at the college student, but it’s wonderfully applicable to everyone who craves community.

The article in Comment magazine is titled “Great coffeehouses, great conversations, and the college experience” and written by Larry Bourgeois, who has been starting coffeehouses and bookstores since the 1970s. As his bio says:

Larry believes that effective young adult ministry requires using more untraditional places and spaces than are found in common institutional church settings. Quality coffeehouses conveniently located can provide essential hospitality and common ground where “conversations of consequence” can naturally/supernaturally regularly occur.

What makes a great coffeehouse?

Great coffeehouses embody four elements. First is Creation, a relationship more about the earth, stewardship, and accountability than about “products.” Great coffeehouses are places of Calling, where, as Frederick Buechner said, “your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” As individual callings meet, they develop Community, where divisive issues become shared concerns, and through which we find Communion, the celebration of the mystery and majesty of the cosmos in each other and the world. This is the cultural potential of the third place.

What local coffeehouses best fulfill these four qualities?

Read the article online at Comment magazine.

— Photo by qwrrty on Flickr


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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  • 1. Jeff  |  April 8, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Is the actual coffee not important at all? 🙂

  • 2. Jon Swerens  |  April 8, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Ha ha! You got me there. The fifth “C” should be “coffee.”

  • 3. Scott Bryson  |  April 20, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    I would say the Firefly on North Anthony is a great example of this. There is a group which meets every morning that talkes about different issues, many controversial, from several points of view. There is no other place I know, except for a university classroom, where ideas can be discussed. The fact they happen in a public setting is even better.


But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7

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