This review originally printed in the Evangelicals Now newspaper – September 2013 (see http://www.e-n.org.uk/)
This little book comes from SOLAS, the Centre for Public Christianity in Dundee (www.solas-cpc.org). The aim of its author, David Robertson, who is the director of the centre, is to encourage Christians to move out to places where people gather daily, to engage with the public there and make Christ known.
In the UK now, while pubs are closing, the rise of the coffee shop in the High Street seems unstoppable. David Robertson has a track record of public engagement (The Dawkins Letters) and in this book he encourages Christians to make use of café culture to facilitate bringing the gospel to the public who would not dream of darkening the doors of our churches. The title of the book points to the spiritual thirst out there and the fact that, in the gospel, we can point the way to quenching that thirst.
The book is based on a presentation by David Robertson, so is not a comprehensive treatise on contemporary evangelism but a simple guide to holding and inviting the public to events in a café, either within a church setting or utilising commercial premises. There are many ideas for suitable events with practical guidance on how to avoid some of the common pitfalls that can occur. Although events may centre around music, art or talks on contemporary issues, throughout the book there is an emphasis on the gospel: ‘Your event has failed if at some point it hasn’t pointed to Jesus’.
If your church is wondering how to engage with the man on the street or Clapham omnibus, then there are some useful suggestions here. Our church has found that using café culture does work in introducing people from the High Street to Christ, so I’m going to keep my copy for the many positive suggestions contained within.
member of Chertsey Street Baptist Church,
engaged in café culture evangelism in Guildford