A quick look at my little world.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Starbucks & Church

Ran across this blog, youthministrytv, and there was a great article about the being more like Starbucks. Click here for the article. Below is a copy...


I love going to Starbucks. If I had a choice, I would make that place my classroom and office. There are just a lot of things about it that I think have added to the success. Why else would people pay 4 bucks for coffee? Besides the “status” of Starbucks, there are other things that make them successful. By the way, I only get the coffee of the day (the cheapest one) when I go, usually. Here are some things that we could learn from Starbucks. I believe they are lessons that we could use in youth ministry and in the church.

Comfortability: Make the area comfortable for visitors. Starbucks reminds me a lot of a living room. It’s a comfortable place. The tables and chairs, paint, lighting, and everything invite you to stay a while. In fact, they have as their goal to be your “third place” besides work and home. They want to be the next place you go to besides those first two obvious places, so they make it comfortable for you while you are there.

Choices: I read somewhere that there are over 19,000 combinations of Starbucks drinks. That’s a lot of coffee variations. Isn’t it funny how usually we only offer things one way? Why can’t we allow people to choose what they want? I think that has a lot to do with the success of web 2.0, too.

Friendliness: In Mexico, when you enter a Starbucks, they always address you as a friend (using the word tu). There’s no formal talk in Starbucks. You have entered a friendly place. In church, however, we talk to everyone in formal tone (usted), most of the time in a stuffy manner. Let’s talk more informally in church. Let’s make friends with our clients in the business world.

Quality: Starbucks takes pride in their expertise in coffee. They say they try all sorts of coffees and select the best for their customers. Everything is done with quality in Starbucks. We ought to offer quality, too.

Give Back: They say that they are giving back to the communities where the coffee is grown. They do toy drives at Christmas. They offer coffee grounds for your garden. There is definitely a culture of giving back to the community at the Starbucks.

So what do you think? I think some very good points are made.


dennis said...

Hi Jeff...I absolutely agree with your comment on the article about Jesus not making people comfortable. At the same time, he did make people comfortable. Why else would all those "sinners" eat with him? That's the kind of comfortable I'm talking about. If you look closely, the religious people were the ones He was always making uncomfortable.

John DeMarco said...

I like the Starbucks idea because it makes sense to me. It's so funny how the church can get in a rut and believe that it's the only way to do church i.e. (sunday bible class, hour church service, pews and a pulpit). The reality is you could just meet with some Christians weekly at Starbucks and that would be "church." There isn't even a mandate in the Bible to meet at the church buildings we have built. Think of the money we could give back if we gave up building buildings!