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On with the countdown.

July 31, 2007

Be Knowledgeable: Love what you do. Share it with others. Knowledge is a core principle of Starbucks. They expect their Barista to know the product. They have levels of education that one can attain and incentives to encourage their employees to grow.

I mean Starbucks has a book that you get when they hire you that has a map of where coffee is grown, information about farming and roasting, terminology and brewing practices and a flavor chart. This is a coffee shop but to be a part of the shop they expect you to have knowledge of the product.

Not only that but they encourage continued education and they encourage people to become what they call a Coffee Master. Becoming a Coffee Master is no easy task, much is expected of you.

I don’t know people but something seems strange when churches expect very little knowledge while a coffee shop is pushing for more. Leonard Sweet makes this point in his book The Gospel According to Starbucks. Starbucks has its own names for things and a certain culture for those involved but the church at times seems ashamed of its unique attributes.

I realize that much has been done to damage the name church and Christian but do we benefit when our response to that damage leaves us with nothing at all? I realize that many have been taught they have to earn their way to heaven through some different list of do’s and don’ts and so any discussion of knowledge ends up being about the fact that we can’t save ourselves, but it seems that the issue is not about salvation but knowledge.

How can someone enjoy the experience if they don’t know what it is about? How can someone understand what it means to have hope if they have no knowledge of what we hope for? Can someone love another if no one has taken time to teach them how to love?

Again for some reason the church has a way of sucking all of the beauty out of something. Knowledge became about superiority instead of being able to share great truth with others. Knowledge became dry and boring and something that you needed to come to or you were not a good Christian. Then the classes became about anything but knowledge and turned into pointless discussions that didn’t impact daily life.

I understand all of this but that doesn’t change the need for knowledge. How can we motivate people to want more knowledge about what it means to be a Christ follower? How can we ignite a passion for the story so that people want to learn instead of trying to guilt people into learning?

I guess it really comes down to Starbucks second statement on this page in their Green Apron Book, Love what you do, share it with others. Do we love what we do? If not why not because I really think the best way to get evangelism going is not by telling people they are suppose to be doing it. I think it is to get them to love being a Christ follower then evangelism takes care of itself.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2007 12:53 am

    I’m loving the series on Starbucks … just wanted to let you know. I go to Starbucks every thursday for an extended period of time … just to talk with all kinds of people. Plus I picked up a book by Leonard Sweet the other day you might be interested in … it has Starbucks in the title.

    Bobby Valentine

  2. August 1, 2007 6:28 pm

    Yes. We look at the community in Acts 2 and pull principles from it (pray, fellowship, apostles doctrine, etc). We forget they were acting out of necessity and urgent commitment. When we really believe the kingdom message we’ll crave knowledge naturally. Don’t motivate people to learn. Fill them with a sense of urgency. Show them reality.

    Too simplistic?

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