Guess what I have noticed??? Starbucks is popping up all over the city.
(This post is about an observation and not a plug for a company. Remember that when you comment.)
For some, Starbucks is all about the experience, I like to think it is about the coffee, either way it is still a relaxing place over a good beverage. Starbucks has a huge vision. It started with about 100 stores some 15 years ago to an institution that finds itself in over 37 countries with thousands of stores. The company now opens more than 2,000 coffeehouses per year, an average of six new stores a day. Starbucks goal is to have 40,000 stores worldwide. WOW.
I hang with some people who have a problem with big churches, and big business and what I find is that these same people complain about and try to discredit the ministry of churches and business’ that are approaching huge numbers. Why?
With Starbucks they are trying to sell more coffee, creating more experiences. So is the church thinking too small? Don’t get me wrong, I like small but I also like big…is there a problem with that? Can’t we have both? Can we not continually grow smaller? It has a double ring to it….(not a double/double :) )
Do you know that Starbucks carefully determines where each store is located as a matter of fact every detail is calculated. So, Starbucks is very deliberate in its ‘evangelism’ while the church appears to be passive or scared in our approach to spreading the Gospel. Why? Is it possible that the church is trying to put GOD in a box by limiting how he chooses to reach people? Or is it because we are afraid of taking a hit from others who think that they know the only expression of the church is small? How is the church doing at creating an atmosphere?
Even the concept of a “third place” is becoming a big topic of discussion with some of my friends. The alternative to a church, yet, in some respects, still a church. This ‘third place’ is popular even for Starbucks, but it uses the coffee product as glue that draws people. Starbucks is a community…they even know my name…and they feel free to suggest different drinks for me.
What about the church…why is it that many are so focused on arguing about issues as opposed to being in individual’s lives talking and walking and listening and suggesting a good cup of coffee? GOD uses a variety of different approaches to get people's attention and transform lives. I don't think GOD's done with us yet and, I don't think he's done redeeming people's lives, but are we limiting GOD in what he can do? Is a coffee store doing a better job than the church?
And for those who are not into Starbucks…check out this site….