Click the video below to hear Brian’s story:

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A Better World Might Just Start with Baristas and Paintballs


My name is Brian Boettcher and I’m the associate pastor at Community United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

I’ve been here about nine months. Our senior pastor is Lee Seibert. As Brian began to get acquainted with the church, he learned about their Reaching New People team.  When they said we’re trying to reach new people I just jumped on board. I was very excited about that.

Many pastors stop by a coffee shop on a regular basis, but Brian has turned his nearby coffee shop into a ministry outpost.

One of the main places that I go is the Starbucks that is closest to the church. I go there for two hours every day that I’m working in the office.

He’s found it is a rewarding place for reaching out – interacting with people on staff, their regular customers, getting to know some of their families when they come in.

I was having a regular conversation with one of the baristas and the shift manager brought up that Starbucks is interested in seeking volunteer opportunities for its employees.

We decided that the best way to be involved was for the Starbucks personnel to be in charge of our egg painting game where children were invited to toss the paint at a pre-prepared canvas. The VBS team put several of the coffee shop staff to work serving at the church and as a result the manager of the Starbucks and her family came to our Holy Week Services and they’ve continued to participate.

A lot of what I do, whether that’s creative writing or thinking about maybe a sermon outline, I just do while sitting at the bar of the local Starbucks. I sit at the bar on purpose so that I’m interacting with the baristas, hearing how their day is going. I always ask them how their days is going,

So if that means I’m having a contemporary worship planning meeting at Starbucks, we have it sitting at the bar. Our worship leader, when I can’t remember what the song is, he’ll sing it and then one of the baristas will say, “I know that song.”

It’s reaching new people, telling and giving people a clearer sense of what the church is and who we are and what we do.

People are really interested in making the world a better place. It’s not just because the people at Starbucks have a service requirement. I really think they are interested in following their dreams and making the world a better place. That’s what the church is about.

One of my inspirations is a t-shirt that I received at Annual Conference

said “Church can happen anywhere.” That’s a motto I try to live my life by.