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The Last two areas in the Green Apron Book

August 6, 2007

Be Considerate: Take care of yourself, each other and our environment followed by Be Involved: In the Store, the company, in your community.

Those two phrases have so much in them don’t they? The last thing Starbucks focuses on is its community impact and how it treats others. There is an idea of looking out for others again that you would expect from a social organization but from a company? Do you hear love your neighbor as yourself? It seems that they understand what love for neighbor leads to, community involvement, I’m not sure much of the church does. There is a focus on getting involved in the community to make a difference.

Now isn’t that totally ironic that a coffee company that sells a drink along with some other items wants its people to be looking outside of their building while churches have developed an inward approach? In my experience many groups stop with the first line, get involved at the store level and ignore the community.

I also like the fact that Starbucks starts with involvement in the local store but then move to the corporation and the community. Wouldn’t it make more since just to talk about store involvement, I mean that is where the money is made isn’t it? This is where they spend their time and connect with others. Instead they push the employee further and further out towards others.

If I take that analogy to church what would it be? Start with your fellowship, be involved, move to the universal church, be involved and follow it with be involved in your community. To me it says see the big picture. How many times has the church missed the big picture?

One of the things that liberated me in my journey was the realization that the universal church was very large and the group from of my youth was really pretty small. It freed me to think bigger about what I did, who I loved and how I acted. It unlocked a door of possibilities with the community I was involved in.

I think it is hard to have a big vision when you have a small understanding of God. I think it is hard to extend grace in a big way when you don’t see grace as something extended in a big way. I think it is hard to love large and deep when your fellowship presents love as very small and shallow. The only way this can be done is if you push out beyond the first level of involvement.

What do you think? How involved are you in the church at large in your area? How involved in the community have you become? How about your fellowship? Do we try to fix a problem of vision with a band aid at times? Really, do we want our group to be more involved in the community but have we missed the middle step of being more involved in the universal church? Does that explain some of why so many groups have become insulated?

I don’t know but I think Starbucks has something here. The only way you can impact your community in large ways is to enlarge your vision of who your company is. As long as you only see your small group you will never see a bigger picture. It is too easy to become discouraged because it seems like you can only do so much. When you realize that the church is larger than maybe you understood then you realize more impact happens then you realized.

Now do I wish more churches were making the last one, community impact? Yes I do. One of my great frustrations is the confusion over why churches don’t find this to be important but guess what, even in this the understanding that the church is bigger gives me hope that at some point what we are doing will be copied by others. Maybe because we are doing what we do for the community maybe they will be motivated to get more involved in the community, Starbucks is.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 19, 2007 12:28 am

    I saw an interview with the founder of Starbucks on FOX (well, one of those news stations)…he is interesting; a very humble man. My husband was telling me that REV magazine (a Christian Magazine) just had an interview with him. He said the leadership principles are great. Thought you might want to check it out.

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