Friday, June 09, 2006

Cafe Create

I have a pitch for a new piece of work coming up at which the potential hirers have asked me to, 'Tell us about a recent project ... you’ve been involved in in the last 5 years, which has helped to grow the kingdom.'

I will probably talk about Cafe Create. If any of you Cafe punters out there want to say something about it which I could use please comment or email me. Comments from non-bloggers are enabled now remember.


Jonathan Potts said...

The best thiong about CC (and one of the reasons why it's been so successful) is that it doesn't pretend to be one thing and then actually be another. Specifically, it's simply there to enhance and expand the St Paul's community through the medium of good entertainment. It doesn't pretend to do this and then, once it's got people in, try to "evangelise" to them. Or try to be two things at once: both evangelism and entertainment - I find these two things never sit together comfortably; and why should they?

Of course, one could then ask: if it's not (explicitly) evangelistic, how does it "help to grow the Kingdom"? The answer (as I'm sure you know) is that it builds community; then from that community people naturally discuss the issues that are important to them: Kingdom issues (hopefully!). And so building the community becomes building the Kingdom.

So it's strength in being helpful in growing the Kingdom is precisely it's lack of explicit evangelistic input. Counter-intuitive, yes. But many truths about the world are couter-intuitive.

St said...

Thanks Jon.

Caroline said...

It's chilled out, relaxed and 'just happens', and miraculously the right line up comes together at the right time. Something to do with being blessed and going the right way I reckon.
Totally agree with Jon, really good thing to invite non-churchy friends to, and it's ok to make mistakes there too. it doesn't really matter if we get an act that's not that good, because the next one will make up for it. The audience is so chilled that they are very accepting and forgiving, and encouraging to anyone who braves it up front...
Long may it continue (even if I do have to attend only by St-post-cafe-blog reading in future! :) )

St said...

Thanks Caroline.

Martin said...

I realise this is a bit late (I am assuming this is the flyer and poster thing). Also, I'm not really making a nice coment purely about café, but more a critque and comparison to a men's curry (caroline, please overt your eyes. Then again don't bother, as I have been to streams ;-)).

I agree with Jon that a strength of café create is that it isn't fake. This is good. I also think that alpha does, at least I think the way it is talked about at st. paul's, play its hand honestly (although I am not so sure about the advertising materials, as exploring the meaning of life is a bit too open ended a description for my liking).

Now to the curry, where we had a speaker from Christian Viewpoint for Men. I must admit to agreeing and disagreeing with it, at least in hindsight (although not so much at the time - see coments on Jon's blog about being "swept along"). They made a good point that we really need to be reaching out to men, and suggested ways of doing it. They offer support and ideas, which is great.

Before I get onto their general ideas, I just want to briefly mention publications. First, I think that "mota" will be a bit cringey, and I'm really not sure that leaving magazines around is a good way. Just mentioning that now, as putting it in later kinda spoils the flow of the argument. Anyway, asside over.

They (cvm) suggest different types (or levels of christian message content) of events. Level 1 is an event much like saturday football, or Café create, and this is great. Level 2 is then an event with a speaker talking about his faith. This is in itself fine. I think my mis-giving is about how this event is "marketed". I think it is essential to be clear about what it is, and I think the tendency is to downplay what religious content will be in the talk, and up-play the speaker's background in other ways. I don't like this, it feels a bit dishonest and truth-bending to me. Most importantly, I think that upon seeing that this is more "relgious" than was expected, many people will be more put off than before the event. So I come away from this curry, and post-curry thinking, both encouraged to do something, and yet bewildered as to what is best.

There has to be a better way of getting someone from comfortable in create type event, and chatting to christians in general, to hearing the gospel explained clearly. A way, most essentially, that doesn't compromise integrity.

St said...

Thanks everyone. This was the job I got. Your comments helped.