Church and Coffee: Do They Mix?

As previously stated in this blog, I’m a regular coffee drinker. This past Monday, I posted this question on my Facebook page: “Do you approve of drinking coffee during Christian meetings? Why or why not?” It generated many responses on both ends of the spectrum. Some want to have their cup of Joe at church. A couple of my friends argued that Jesus drank wine during gatherings. Therefore, He would be tolerant of coffee.

Others expressed opposition. Some called it a distraction from worship. I think it would be disrespectful raising your hands to the Lord with a coffee cup in one of them. One friend admitted to being “a coffee addict.” Just like other things, it can be an idol. 

Another friend who attends my former home church pointed out coffee drinkers sometimes leave messes behind. During the mid-1990s, I briefly served as an usher at Living Word before they moved into their present building. Back then, they didn’t allow food or drink in the carpeted sanctuary. In recent years, they have been more tolerant of that since there’s a coffee shop in the lobby. Parts of the sanctuary no longer has carpet.

I like the option of having a cup of coffee during church, but will respect house rules. For awhile, I attended another fellowship in Minnesota where the pastor sold tumblers with the church’s name on it. He's okay with coffee in the sanctuary if the container has a cover to prevent spills on the carpet and padded pews. On the other hand, The River at Tampa Bay only allows water in their sanctuary. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne often jokes about skinny preachers drinking lattes. Nevertheless, they sell coffee on the property and permit drinks during meetings under their pavilion.

Many Christians drink coffee while studying the Bible to help them stay alert. Nevertheless, you should respect your pastor’s wishes if he doesn’t want that going on in his church. Coffee didn’t even exist until hundreds of years after the Lord walked the earth. If necessary, one should be able to get by without drinking it during meetings.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 

- 1 Corinthians 10:31


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