As a stay-at-home father of two small children, Jon Helder was looking for an outlet—not only for spiritual growth but also for social interaction with other men during the day.
Coffee Break ministry—weekly Bible study that offers child care along with opportunities for evangelism, spiritual growth, and social interaction—is geared toward women. Helder thought, “Why not a Coffee Break-style ministry for men? As a stay-at-home dad, I was looking for the same thing, and it didn’t exist.”
Helder met with Sam Huizenga, co-director of the Christian Reformed Church’s Coffee Break ministry. She connected him with Mayfair Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. With the encouragement of congregational leaders at Mayfair, Helder began a men’s Coffee Break that meets at the same time as the women’s Coffee Break program. Child care is available for both.
Four men are currently in the men’s Coffee Break program at Mayfair, including a family physician, a part-time nurse who works at night, and a retiree. They are studying Eugene Peterson’s Leap Over a Wall, a book that explores the life and faith of King David. Helder created a Facebook page to get the word out on the ministry; it is linked to the main Coffee Break Facebook page.
Huizenga is thrilled by the startup of the men’s Coffee Break group and is hopeful that similar programs will develop as word gets out.
“God is doing this. We’re not thinking this up. This is happening locally,” Huizenga said. “We’re just trying to share these stories, to inspire others to think about how we can follow where God is at work in Coffee Break.”
Helder, meanwhile, is hopeful that future fellowship opportunities will open up through the men’s program. “I’m hoping it’ll become more than a weekly Bible study during the school year,” he said.