The Starbucks Gospel
“Starbucks will never even come close to changing the world like Jesus did, but it has made a significant difference in our culture.” That’s a quote from the very creative The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion by Leonard Sweet. He drew lessons from Starbucks on connecting with seekers while he was, I suppose, sipping a decaf. He adds, “The experience-oriented Starbucks world we live in calls for an equally evolving perspective on how we do church.”
Sweet wrote that people buy latte or mocha frap not for the caffeine but for the experience. “In the same way that Starbucks strives to create the best experience for enjoying coffee, we need to step into the best experience of faith… With Christianity, it often seems like we promote ideas and methodologies rather than inviting people to simply experience God.” People want an engaging, relevant faith. They do not want mere intellectual faith. They long for a living faith.
I read of a pastor who asked an actor how come people flocked to watch the actor’s plays but not to listen to the pastor’s preaching. The actor winked and said, “I portray fiction as if it is the truth. You present truth as if it is fiction.” That’s a sad but true commentary. We live our Christian lives as if what we believe is fiction.
But we are called to invite people to a relationship with the Lord, not to a religion. We must share the Savior, not a set of ideas. We persuade people: “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8, NIV)
Thus, we are to live our Christian experience in such a vibrant way that seekers get attracted to our Lord Jesus. We are to talk about our faith in such an exciting manner that people are not bored but instead are motivated to accept Him. Our faith is already relevant. We are not making it relevant. We just need to show how significant it is through our words and works.
Brethren, let us live with a Grande passion!
Note: You may download a summary of The Gospel According to Starbucks from http://www.christianbooksummaries.com/library/v3/cbs0336.pdf