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Is Starbucks Doing Better Outreach than Your Church?

During Easter, my family attended the first service, then we volunteered at the second two services.

Since I’m serving on the guest services team, I was able to pull my youngest daughter out of her class after my job was done welcoming everyone to the third service. That saved her from having to sit through the same lesson for the third time.

And it provided an excuse for me to head over to Starbucks and grab a coffee.

Yes, Starbucks is open on Sunday mornings. And yes, that even includes Easter.

The team who served me was very friendly. There were a number of customers seated both inside and outside the store. If people congregate at Starbucks on Sunday morning, does that make them congregants? If so, Brooke and I qualified, and our table was positioned very close to the barista’s pulpit.

What caught Brooke’s attention when she entered the store was the apple fritter in the glass case. What caught my attention was the large sign just inside the entrance promoting the opportunity to volunteer in my community.

That’s right — Starbucks is focused on community service this month. Does that make Starbucks missional? Or does the fact that they serve apple fritters make them attractional? I don’t know if I’m supposed to love their strategy to reach new customers and make caffeine converts or not. I’m so conflicted in my spirit.

By the way, here’s the video from the Starbucks Web site inviting me to volunteer to serve my community:

If you are a church leader, this Starbucks initiative should raise two challenging questions: