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Free Coffee Ministry

Case Study: Strategy and Equipment for “Free Coffee” Ministry

Published: February 26, 2014 Updated: June 17, 2014

When we moved into our 2,500 seat facility (Central Campus), we opened a coffee shop as part of the experience.  This was a powerful ministry tool in reaching the unchurched. They found a friendly environment where they were comfortable and well served.

However, we recognized that others would not appreciate the opportunity to purchase Frappaccinos and lattes in their church lobby.  So, we opened four “free coffee” kiosks around the building to serve those who would be unable to afford (or be offended by) the coffee shop prices.  We discovered that the free coffee stations were a huge hit – serving over 200 gallons on cold Sunday mornings during the winter!

This ministry has two volunteer opportunities:  

  • Brew Masters – who operate the coffee grinders and brewing machines that produce the coffee
  • Kiosk Hosts – who keep the kiosks clean and organized, and deliver the fresh coffee replenishments

We use a local coffee service (www.coffeeservice.com) to provide the brewers and airpots.  These are free as long as we purchase the supplies (coffee, filters, etc.) from them.  We purchase cups, sugar, and creamer from a local food service (www.pfgc.com).

We have begun purchasing our own brewers in the newer campuses.  We specify this equipment because of the need for high volume and high speed production.  The key specs are capacity, brew time, and recovery time.

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