Friday, August 14, 2009

Starbucks Christianity

This video (link), which I don't endorse, provides a "parable" regarding how Starbucks would look if it were marketed like a church. While there are a number of amusing aspects to the video, the apparent underlying message (that the church, to be successful, should be more like Starbucks) is wrong.

Yes, there are bad things that go on in churches. Nevertheless, the point of church is not simply so random folks off the street can come in, get served, and go. The church is a fellowship of believers.

Yes, there are many pulpit crimes taking place in churches throughout the world. There are many inappropriate ways that churches handle new visitors. Despite that, though, the point of church is not simply to purvey a commodity as a coffee shop does: it is not designed to help one relax and unwind. It is not a place where a person should feel anonymous and simply a part of the crowd. It is a place where discipline is exercised and fellowship is nurtured and fostered.

The services of worship are about serving and worshiping God, not the congregants. We do want people who visit to make their stay permanent. But we do not wish to do so by giving up our zeal for God, the reality of our fellowship with one another, or the push for proselytizing.

Give up any of those and we might as well run a coffee shop instead.


1 comment:

natamllc said...

It is kinda sad in a way watching that.

You wrote: "....We do want people who visit to make their stay permanent....".

I just would point to these verses:

Act 2:46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
Act 2:47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.


Act 5:12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico.
Act 5:13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.
Act 5:14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,

and finally

Act 11:22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
Act 11:23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose,
Act 11:24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

Somehow the Lord will have His way and bring about the nature of these verses. I know it. I believe it. And I am living it out day by day!

Thanks for the insight and wisdom to put that video into this blog as it gives us a deeper sense of who you are and why you are doing what you are doing for the Lord!

May God richly bless you TF on both sides!