I'm getting up the nerve to try out some of the dialogue with my wife and pastor; if it passes muster, I'll send you a script!
Here's a close-to-done draft of "Turkish Blend" (Galatians).
It takes place in a coffee shop, Paul returning to see his friends after an extended absence -- and what he has learned was going on during his absence was exceptionally disturbing! My own plan is to present it "reader's theatre" or "radio theatre", the characters reading, with little bits of acting. Essentially the entire book of Galatians, or at least the most significant lines of thought, are presented in contemporary terms.
At a previous church we ended up closing the Sunday evening service. In the mornings we had a congregation that was about the size Timothy mentioned; evening congregations would frequently be at the lower end of single figures; that's a lot of extra work for those in roles such as preparing a sermon or a set of worship music but only benefiting a tiny handful. It did have some value as a training ground (my first attempts at both preaching and worship leading were in the evening slot) but, as numbers continued to dwindle we gave it a break.
A couple of years later though, a new initiative did start. Called The LIGHT Cafe (Look into God's House Tonight), it was mainly an informal prayer time with tea and cake. It wasn't huge but easily outstripped the former evening service attendance. It meant that the church was open on a Sunday evening again, which was good news both for Sunday School teachers (who normally miss the chance to hear a sermon on a Sunday morning) and for visitors who might be passing by in the evening. This "revival" was led by a different group of people from those who had kept the old service going for a long time; they had a vision, were encouraged and supported in trying it and the evidence suggested that it worked.
I think having more going on in the building is good, whether Sunday evening or another slot, but don't rush to make it a clone of what you do on Sunday mornings.
There was quite a "coffee house" movement a few decades ago in our area, which was seen primarily as an evangelistic outreach (engage customers in God-conversation while sipping coffee and munching bagels, or at least show them that we are sort-of normal people). Often the shop was an actual rented storefront -- which quickly went belly-up as the initial excitement waned and church folk realized they would have to man the thing 25 hours a week and go through all the government requirements for running a restaurant/business.
LIGHT Cafe is just church, operating in a friendly way, and in this case is visible by the public. And bravo! You've brought church to the Sunday School teachers, who might otherwise go years without adult fellowship in the Word (I admire those people so much - don't know how they do it - tonight I go to VBS and am sergeant-at-arms, quivering that I won't really know how to handle a disruptive child).
"operating in a friendly way" :-) that has a nice ring to it. We don't always operate in a "friendly way".
I am praying for God to show us at AlvaNaz for new way's to reach the lost, and those who have fallen away. If it's coffee then lets make the best coffee :-) (tends to speed up our tempo)
I like the sound of that LIGHT Cafe! Thanks for the great advice Wulf.
Timothy, So what has God told you about all this? It is no good doing stuff others have suggested instead of what God has suggested to you. Starting up something take energy and persistence, hope you have heaps and then hold on tight :).
Sounds like it could be a powerful ministry if you hit the nail on the head. In other words work out what is needed in you neck of the woods. It will be exciting and new, if you can just hone in on the community's need there.
Do you play an instrument? Just a thought, maybe a jazz night or music night to reach the lost by getting "joe average" into the church hall and making the place friendly and acting friendly and open like Greg mentioned.
Soup kitchen or renamed open meal time for the locals to share some home cooking and a little music on the side, just maybe?