How to use Stir in a Café setting
If your church is running a café, The Stir Course can be a great way to stimulate spiritual conversations at individual tables and also create opportunities to invite individuals to explore faith even further, beyond the set café times.
It will also help to be clear about whether your café time has a set structure when the entire group listens to some input or if it is informal and people simply sit down at tables and come and go as they please.
If you have a set structure where people sitting at tables stop and listen to input from the front:
- Ensure you have access to the internet and a projector or large screen
- Share the aim of the session and play one of the suggested videos
- At individual tables, lead the reflection questions and/or experience depending on your time frame. (It will help to have a leader and copy of the reflection questions for each table)
If there is no set program and people simply chat around tables and come and go as they please, there are several options:
1. Choose one of the Stir Session Cards. Use the ‘Reflection Questions’ as conversations starters at each table. We suggest printing them out on a ‘menu’ or ‘menu stand’. Designated individuals can mingle and encourage people to share their thoughts about the questions.
2. In addition to the ‘Reflection Questions’ above, consider having a phone, tablet or laptop at each table so café guests can watch the suggested video clip.
3. Alternatively, one or two tables can be designated as ‘Stir’ groups. Use The Stir Course and invite people to try the first six sessions. Keep the group time to 30 minutes. Others may see the Stir group meeting during the café time and ask what it’s all about!
Once you complete the first six sessions, you can choose to continue meeting in the café or suggest a different time and place to progress through the next Stir sessions.
4. Finally, consider whether it may work best to meet directly before or after the café time to run The Stir Course.
For options 3 and 4, we have found it helpful at regular intervals to ask each guest who visits the café to complete a brief survey that simply says,
We will be running a six week course that will help you
explore your own spirituality and beliefs. Would you be
interested in attending?
Please mark: ( ) yes ( ) no ( ) I need more information.
Darin (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) lives with his family in Oxfordshire, England. With over twenty years experience in leading youth ministry and training youth workers, as well as developing and delivering degree-level modules in Theology, Mission and Youth Ministry, he now oversees Start to Stir.