Breakfast Before Church
Looking for a way to reach the community? Trying to encourage families to spend quality time together on a Sunday morning while also providing fellowship? Why not offer breakfast before your education programs?
A new-plant church recently posted an article about how they changed their church 'strategy' to invite the community to attend their worship services. They wrote:
Our new church was about to embark on a city-wide ad campaign with flyers, mailers, ads, and billboards, but decided to abandon those plans and do a BIG FREE Breakfast weekly instead for these 3 reasons."
- Jesus regularly took time to eat with friends and strangers alike. We want to be like Jesus and build relationships over good meals.
- Times are tough. Not only are people hurting financially, they are also more isolated than ever. This FREE breakfast is a way to show our love for people.
- It's practical. Having a FREE breakfast at church on Sunday morning is very convenient for our volunteers, families, and visitors.
Might this be a practice suitable to your church? Here's how a few churches have established a Sunday Breakfast:
St. Mark's Episcopal Church in LaGrange, Georgia offers a "First Sunday Breakfast." For $3 per person/ $10 per family, every month 30-60 people (with an average Sunday attendance of 125) gather for a full, hot breakfast cooked by one of three teams of volunteers.
Three years ago a Grandparents' Day (the Sunday after Labor Day) breakfast was started at Trinity Church in Towson, Maryland as a kick-off for the program year. It was such a success that the church's Hospitality and Evangelism Group decided to sponsor the breakfasts as a way to provide hospitality for newcomers. Over the past 2 years, at least six new families have joined the congregation as a result of being invited to what is now call "Second Sunday Breakfast." Kathleen Capcara, Director of Evangelism and Formation attended a "Re-Inventing Church" conference where the importance of giving visitors the best you have to offer was stressed.
She shares, "Our breakfasts are between the 9 and 11 o'clock services and are IN PLACE OF Christian Formation hour - from 10 -11 a.m. on the Second Sundays. The regular Sunday School teachers, adult ed leaders ,and parenting class facilitators all love having this week off each month. It has made "recruiting" for these ministries easier for me. We serve about 120 people (average attendance at the 9 a.m, Family Service has been about 90 people - and about 40 at the 11 o'clock Choir Service.) Some of the elders who attend the later service are in line for food 15 minutes ahead of serving time! We take a "free will offering" in the form of a basket at the beginning of the Buffet food line - and always make a profit. There are always scrambled eggs, bagels, oatmeal, cold cereal, PB&J for the kids - and fresh fruit and coffee cake. We have various breakfast casseroles and some times pancakes or french toast. The "Trinity Latte" is popular. It's a punch bowl of cold brewed strong coffee mixed with ice cream, with whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top. A "Chocolate Milk Latte" is available for the children." Realizing the children ate in about 15-20 minutes, Kathleen began to offer a multi-age class for children and youth while the adults continued to chat among themselves. Activities focused on learning the basics such as the Creed, Ten Commandments, the 23rd Psalm and the Lord's Prayer.
When St. Aidan's in Milton, Georgia began their breakfast ministry five years ago, it was an immediate hit and very popular, serving 100+ individuals. For members who are going through tough times, it has been a ministry to them in ways unexpected. A full hot breakfast is served after the early service and before the education hour. With 8 to 10 teams, each team only cooks once every few months, offering usual fare of scrambled eggs, pancakes, grits, sausage, bacon, cold cereal, milk, muffins, fruit, juice, and coffee. A few teams offer their own specialities according to Susan Griffis, Director of Children's Ministries. Guest chefs might even make omelets! All for $1 for kids and $4 for adults.