Give up bad coffee for lent!

The Give Up Bad Coffee For Lent twibbon.
The Give Up Bad Coffee For Lent twibbon. (c) Ryan Cartwright CC:By

So if you haven’t heard I seemed to have gotten involved in the start of a movement. Okay that’s probably a little over-dramatic but following a rather frantic twitter conversation the other day there has begun a genuine call for change in the Church (particularly the UK). It’s called ‘Give Up Bad Coffee For Lent’ and is named after a joke I made on Twitter. For more information on the birth of this campaign and a great summary of what we’re all on about you’d be better to go read the excellent blog post by [@Twurchsteward](http://parishgiving.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/trouble-brewing/). Come back here afterwards though 😉

Following the flurry of tweets and the above blog post I decided — in a sudden burst of unilateralism — to create a Twibbon campaign. For those who don’t know a Twibbon is a way of displaying a small logo on your facebook or twitter avatar/profile picture to show support for a cause. To my surprise it has been taken up by several outside of our initial group and for that I thank you. It did also raise several questions and it struck me that the name alone might need some clarification so here are some FAQs:

**What do you mean by “bad coffee”?**
To be honest it varies from person to person but this is about doing our best in service and hospitality. So it’s about taste and quality but not necessarily at the expense of fairtrade etc. So it’s not about particular brands or even types of coffee so much as it is about the attitude behind the provision of coffee. See the next question for more.

**Why coffee?**
It’s not really about coffee but that is a focal point because it’s an area where many a Church needs improvement.This campaign is really about serving people with our best effort. It’s about combating the idea that while we’re happy to get and do the best we can for our own use, in Churches there can be too often an approach of “that will do – it’s just for Church”. What this campaign says is _That will not do_. as @Twurchsteward says..

> The Bible is fairly clear on the subject of hospitality – my current bible study plan covers passage after passage in the OT commanding Israel to offer the best of their hospitality, to welcome all comers with the very best they have to offer.

and…

> The bible exhorts us again and again to treat others with the generosity, love and welcome that we would wish to receive – why ? Because when we honour each other we honour our Creator – because “when you do this to the least of these, you do it to me” .

**But we already serve good coffee?**
That’s great but does your Church show it’s best in all matters of hospitality? How’s the cleaning, the flowers, the toilet roll? This is about so much more than coffee. It’s about love. If we show our best then people may stick around but honestly if you go into a shop and get treated in a sub standard way — how often do you go back?

**So you’re saying the Church should pander to visitors rather than attend to more important things?**
If you want to put it that way, yes the Church should “pander” to visitors or as you might rephrase it: make them feel welcome. This is God’s house and we are His family by adoption. When people enter your house do you not expect your family to make them feel welcome? Serving decent coffee/tea/biscuits may seem trivial but it adds to a welcoming atmosphere.

**What happens after Lent?**
The Lent but is just an accident of timing. This is really a rallying cry to the Church. In the words of many of my school reports this campaign simply says “Hospitality: must try harder”. Also don’t think this is the responsibility of Church leaders, the hand and the heart serving the cup is as important (if not more so) here as the liquid inside the cup and the person buying the beans.

To end I just want to go back to @Twurchstewards quote about honouring God as we honour each other. It puts me in mind of Matthew 5:14-16 which speaks of us as being the light of the world and not hiding our light under a bushel. Personally I like the way the Message puts it:

> 14 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. 15 If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. 16 Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven _[Matt.5:14-16 MSG](http://www.biblestudytools.com/msg/matthew/5.html)_

Isn’t that what we’re talking about here? Let’s be generous with our hospitality. Let’s shine. Let’s give up bad coffee…and not just for lent.

_If you want to join in then by all means comment here or alternatively show your support via [the Twibbon](http://twibbon.com/cause/Give-up-bad-coffee-for-lent/) on your facebook or twitter avatars. You can also use the twitter hashtag of [\#GUBC4L](http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23GUBC4L)_