Coffee Shops & the Church


My usual order at a coffee shop is a bit high maintenance. Like… it’s almost embarrassing. Sometimes I simplify it if someone else is picking up my order because I don’t want them to think that I am such a picky person. But when I am by myself, rolling through the Starbucks drive-thru, I slowly list my entire detailed order and then savor that perfect beverage as I drive back onto the highway.

I’ve never once offered to jump behind the counter and help them heat my nonfat milk to a perfect steamed temperature. I have not gotten on a plane to help with the coffee bean harvest. And I have absolutely no idea how one would even go about roasting that coffee bean. And that’s okay… I just have to order and pay. That’s my part of the process.

Many people have said that Americans treat church like a coffee shop. We roll in. Sit in our favorite spot. Dust off that book that we’ve been meaning to read, but can’t seem to find the time. And settle in for the experience the exact way that we want it. We become Church consumers, not Christians.

I mean if we don’t like it, we can just find a new coffee shop.

If they don’t operate the way we like, we’ll stop giving.

You see, when I go to a coffee shop, I am a consumer. But when I am a part of the Church, I am there to serve; I’m a contributor. We are all baristas when it comes to the family of God.

Instead of focusing on our dissatisfactions and assuming a critical spirit, we need to be looking around and trying to create ways to introduce people to Jesus. How can we be a part of Kingdom work? Are we contributing to the next generation of the Church or are we accidentally undermining our Church’s future?

A coffee shop is about me.

The Church is about Jesus and others.

How can we serve instead of consume?

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