Tuesday, August 07, 2007

St. Arbuck's Losing salvation?

One of the best experiences I have ever had in any restaurant or store was today.

The barista at Starbucks was the best.

One of the worst experiences I have ever had in any restaurant was last week.

The barista at another Starbucks was the worst.

Sign of the times.

Len Sweet of course wrote a fantastic book (like his 457 other books) on what the church can learn from Starbucks; Phil Brewer (great name for a coffee pastor..yes, it's his real name) ministers effectively to postmodern "Latte Villagers" as part of hius St. Arbuck's stategy...

But is Starbucks losing it?

It was Len's post "The rise and fall of Starbucks" which first alerted me to Earl Creps' post on this phenomenon: Viral Dis-Marketing.

Google the words: Starbucks and decline. It’s telling (health care problems for employees etc)...And this headline is NOT a joke:“More New Chuches Than New Starbucks Open in the UK...

This all calls to mind our forum discussion a couple years ago on wineskins…I remember that some scholars suggest wineskins had a lifetime of only weeks or months!

Constant re-newing is the norm for the form

Interestingly, I had just begun sensing the same with “In N Out” (an amazing business model, famous for Christian founders, scripture on bottom of cups, the secret menu, and flawless and friendly servive and product.

Beginning a long drive to Los Angleles, my family I stopped on the edge of town for an In N Out. In preparation for the drive, I simpley walked around the restaurant to stretch my legs.

At the back of the building an employee confronted me sharply: "You're notasking our customers for money, are you?"

"No, I am eating here with my family, and walking around preparing for a long drive!"

I was tempted to say "Jerk! I am not only one of your best customers, but I am a pastor here in town!!"

I didn't.

My wife says it's all about the jacket I was wearing: a bit tattered.

But did I look like a homeless panhandler?

I threw out the old jacket(:

But maybe in N Out and Starbuck's need to return to their "old" wineskins (They were "new" wineskins in Jesus's definition.

So until then, buy the book...but boycott the title... "How to Put New Wine in Old Wineskins."

And I'll meet you the reader (and Kevin) at St. Arbucks for a good time to discuss it.....and for a good time.

I hope.

In the meantime, some great related reads:

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