Just A Thot

Posted: June 9, 2009 by Rich Landosky in Rich's Random Ramblings, The Journey
Tags: , , ,

I’m reading Tony Morgan‘s book, Killing Cockroaches, which is a, amongst other things, a collection of a bunch of his better blog posts.  In his book (from a previous blog post) he has a piece called “Venti God.”  This section speaks to an article about Starbucks.  As a huge fan of Starbuck’s Frappuccinos, I found this article interesting.  One section stuck out to me as it relates to the church and our student ministry.  Here is an excerpt from this piece.

Community. “Starbucks filled America’s need for a public gathering spot – a ‘third place,’ with home and work being place one and two.  This became Starbucks’ community rallying cry: It wasn’t a coffee company, but a place to bring people together through the socail glue of coffee.”  Here’s an example of a need that people had that could have easily been filled by the church.”

People like coffee but they really want a place to belong.  They want community.  Starbucks realized that and cashed in on people’s needs and in the meantime sold lots of coffee.  The Church has so much more to offer than Starbucks, including genuine community, yet Starbucks beat us to the need.  It is the Church that is commanded to love, weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, to live as a family and as a body.  That’s the real definition of community and we have it to offer through Jesus Christ.  Why don’t more people look for their need of community in the church instead of Starbucks?  How could a coffee company manufacture a way to meet a need and do better at it than the Church who was designed to meet it?

As I ponder the excerpt and the questions I ask myself, I believe I would like a Venti Raspebrry White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino to help me think.

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Comments
  1. Drew says:

    Agree and disagree.

    Starbucks has probably done more to bring the idea of the ‘third space’ to the forefront of culture than anyone else in the past 10-15 years. They are great at creating the third space atmosphere. (And if you really want to experience community, become a regular at an independent coffee shop.) *bucks has been able to do this because they knew they weren’t just selling a product, they sell an experience. Every cup has a story to tell, molded into the context of your local store. Don’t believe me? Look at the cup. Len Sweet goes into great detail on all this in his book The Gospel According to Starbucks, worth a read.

    I think *bucks beats out the Church in the community thing in a few places. First, they understand that it’s more than a product, it’s an experience. People will look to the church for a relevant community experience when we live that and present it to them. The Gospel is a life to be lived, not a product to be sold. Second, *bucks understands that there has to be quality across the board. It’s not just good coffee, it’s a good store, a good barista, a good cup… From start to finish the experience of getting a cup of coffee is carefully thought out and crafted. We have the greatest “product” in the world in the Gospel, but we have to be awake to the fact that the world is not beating down our doors to get it. Finally, I think *bucks does a good job of connecting the mundane everyday ritual of getting a cup of coffee to a global purpose. From purchasing Fair Trade beans to offering health benefits to part time employees, they have created a culture that is deeply connected to being purposeful about improving the world around them. Again, I think this comes back to a case of the Church needing to live what we claim to believe… how do we bring the sacred into the mundane, every day things that we do. What are we doing to change the world around us?

    Longest. Comment. Ever.

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