Let Coffee Break the Ice and Build Relationships

two young women meet for coffee and to chat

Let the fragrant wafts of coffee tantalize your nose as you listen to the noisy hum of espresso machines. Sink comfortably into a cozy chair, sip your favorite brew, and allow your eyes to flicker over the mosaic of colors and activity. Enjoy the flavors of a treat. All 5 senses are in full use when you visit a coffee shop. Ready to go get coffee?

A coffee shop is the perfect location to hang out and build relationships. Add intentionality and you will be ready to engage others and share the hope of Jesus.

Peruse the following “menu” items. Choose the best ideas for your location and turn coffee shop excursions into missions opportunities. Now get sipping!

Coffee Shop Menu


Begin with prayer. Ask the Lord to provide courage, conversation, and contacts. Pray for patience, as building significant relationships takes time.


Brew patience. Remember that just as it takes time for coffee beans to mature, a new friendship does not immediately develop deep roots. Willingly invest your time in the individual provided by the Lord.


Take along a friend with the same desire to reach out to others in your community. Focus on others when building relationships, not the established friendship you have with each other.

People Groups

Locals, internationals, and travelers often stop in coffee shops for refreshments and free internet. Choose your coffee shop people group:

Baristas—Keep in mind that coffee shop employees come from all walks of life. For this people group,

  • Get to know your barista. Express appreciation for his or her service.
  • Be friendly. While baristas cannot stop and visit while on the clock, they appreciate smiling faces.
  • Learn names, remember life details, and share ways the Lord has blessed you.
  • When appropriate, offer prayer. Follow up on prayer requests.
  • Invite baristas to church events.

Customers—Visit the coffee shop at the same time every day or week. Observe who visits during that time. For this people group,

  • Interact with other customers while waiting.
  • Exhibit kindness and helpfulness. Get the door, offer napkins, or greet children.
  • Share a table if the coffee shop is crowded, or sit at the table beside the familiar customer.
  • Engage in conversation. Comment on a book, clothing accessory, or coffee selection.
  • Share stories that could lead to deeper spiritual conversations, such as praying for a child or family member, answered prayer, or something funny that happened on the way to church.
  • Try to connect with the same person during future visits.

Acquaintances—Set a coffee date with a friend you want to know better. Invest in deepening the relationship and sharing real truths. For this group,

  • Select an unsaved neighbor, church guest, or community member that the Lord is showing you.
  • Buy a coffee for your friend. Get to know each other.
  • Be yourself. Avoid forcing religion on your friend, but allow your love for the Lord to shine.
  • Ask questions that show sincere love and interest.
  • Don’t judge. Love and listen.

Angie Quantrell inhabits local coffee shops and makes new friends.

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