ST.ARBUCKS

There was a great article in Leadership Magazine this quarter entitled "The Gospel According to St. Arbucks".  It is a comparative evaluation of the environment at Starbucks (get it… St. Arbucks) and what the church could learn from the interaction that occurs there.  The author, Greg Asimakoupoulos from Mercer Island, WA, starts by listing some observable characteristics of those who attend St. Arbucks:

  • The committed are amazingly loyal
  • They demonstrate familiarity with the lingo and the liturgy
  • They are not put off by the financial sacrifice necessary to attend, much less upgrade to a grande or venti
  • They are often times happy to come more than once a week

There are three major characteristics that the author sees in St. Arbucks that churches can benefit from.

  1. It’s a place where you are known. Baristas often recognize the regular customers and try to greet them by name and often know what they will order before they actually do.  Being able to relate personally to church members, especially new comers, adds a sense of value to their participation in church activities.
  2. It affirms differing tastes.  There are too many possibilities to mention at St. Arbucks.  What’s important is that Americano drinkers and Mocha drinkers don’t look down on each other.  Baristas treat them all the same no matter what drink they are making.  While absolute selection in most churches is impossible, it would be a great step for us to see everyone on equal footing and respect them as individuals no matter what the issue is.
  3. It’s open to the community. Every shape, size, and type of people can be seen in St. Arbucks.  They don’t discriminate based on age, personality, socio-economic class, dress, or gender.  Our churches have to find ways to open the doors to all types of people.  Not just on Sundays, but throughout the week as well.

So, what do you think?  What do you notice when you worship at the alter of St. Arbucks?  How can we move our churches to developing an environment that is as open, welcoming, and comfortable as the one St. Arbucks offers?

8 Responses to ST.ARBUCKS

  1. Bill says:

    This is excellent! Thanks for passing it along. Hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

    Blessings,
    -bill

  2. Bill says:

    This is excellent! Thanks for passing it along. Hope you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

    Blessings,
    -bill

  3. Dee Andrews says:

    Hey, Brad –

    Thought I’d catch up a bit today since I’m just hanging out (got a bad cold and cough) trying to stay out of trouble. I, too, like your blog on St. Arbucks. I can’t really think of anything else to add that aren’t just variations of what all you’ve already said. Maybe that St. Arbucks is rapidly growing, which I think reflects on what kind of organization it is in a positive way. The church would do well to learn lessons from Starbucks.

  4. Dee Andrews says:

    Hey, Brad –

    Thought I’d catch up a bit today since I’m just hanging out (got a bad cold and cough) trying to stay out of trouble. I, too, like your blog on St. Arbucks. I can’t really think of anything else to add that aren’t just variations of what all you’ve already said. Maybe that St. Arbucks is rapidly growing, which I think reflects on what kind of organization it is in a positive way. The church would do well to learn lessons from Starbucks.

  5. bradpalmore says:

    Growing and charging out the nose for it. What’s the deal with that? Maybe we should start charging for each service.

  6. bradpalmore says:

    Thanks for stopping by! Thanksgiving was great.

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