Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Random Thought

Breakfast this morning with Len Sweet made me think about something.

What if the best preparation for this new kind of church plant we want to do isn't taking a quarter time church or working in a church plant or anything like that...

...but rather working as a barista at Starbucks?

(I have a problem with the fact that they don't have free Wi-Fi, but the question remains...substitute any good coffee shop for Starbucks).

What do you think?


Bill said...

Hey! Can you elaborate a little on how being a barista would prepare you for a church plant??

Melissa said...

Hey Bill!! :-)

I *could*...but where would the fun in that be? I'm interested in knowing what people think about the connection.

(Yes, I'm being elusive, I know...)

Matt said...

I think that trying new things in ministry can lead to unexpected benefits. If I were going to do the same as you, I would make sure that I had a clear expectation about the fruits of the labor, and would set a time limit (ie. "I'm going to try this for a year and then reevaluate")

I'm a member of a new church plant in North Texas, and we have no building of our own. We hold services in an elementary school, but our various meetings are everywhere : other local churches, people's homes, fire stations, even Starbucks.

Andi said...

While I agree that coffee shops and other 'centers of cultural influence' are the places for those in the ministry to be, I do not agree that you should take a job at the particular coffee shop in order to do ministry; unless the employer knows what you are doing. Ministry is about relationships - and it is very difficult to form relationships while pouring coffee, providing excellent customer service and keeping lines to a minimum. We are after all to do everything for the glory of God, and while ministery can be done in every circumstance, I as an employer would not be happy to have one of my 'counter people' spending time talking when there were customers to be served......better spend the time hanging out at coffee shops than working there (as long as they serve free trade coffee)

Ken L. Hagler said...

I would think there is a both/and in the midst of this. Part of this really depends on where you are.

I and other church planters have found Starbucks around us to now be filled with...Christians...all of whom are the next Donald Millers. But those actually working at Starbucks, those are the people looking to get connected to God. That may certainly be different in your context. The relationships will be with your team of baristas. I don't fully agree with Andi as you're still going to naturally develop relationships with regulars, but it can't distract from the job you're getting paid to do.

The other side is doing church. Have you visited any church plants? I've really struggled with ones I've visited not because they don't know how to handle liturgy but they don't know how to make meaning. In a culture that finds many things sacred, church plants often don't know how to handle the meaning behind songs, images, service flow, icons, etc. Part of this comes, I think, from not having a respect for tradition (a good quadrilateral word).

Thanks for the thought.

Anonymous said...

hey bloggy friend - its been a while since a post, any thoughts to share?? :-)