My friends know that I like a good book and one of the titles I received from a good friend at Christmas was The Starbucks Experience. I know...Christmas was a while ago but I received about five books at Christmas and I think I'm doing pretty well so far.
In my quick read through this "your-business-can-be-a-success" book, I saw a lot of the same principles of some other business books that I enjoyed including Purple Cow, which was a book by Seth Godwin on making your business stand-out by being remarkable.
As I read the book, it occurred to me that many of these five principles in the Starbucks Experience were applicable to any organization including the local church. The one thing I can say about these principles at the beginning is that they aren't necessarily designed to make your organizations the largest, but simply truly remarkable.
While the book wasn't about growth, but about being remarkable, remember that remarkable organizations, including churches, grow. Remarkable organizations grow because of two main reasons. The first is that as people discover them, they not only become great fans and loyal supporters but they also tell their family, friends and neighbors about their remarkable find. In a business, this is called "goodwill" and in a church it's known as just being healthy.
The other reasons these remarkable organizations grow is because their customers, clients, members and visitors find more reasons to come back and come back often. People that discover Starbucks often find themselves stopping by daily for a Venti Vanilla Bean Frappuccino or an occasional Grande Toffee Nut Latte. Churches that are remarkable find that they are not just frequented on Sundays. Families find these remarkable churches to be great places to gather during the week. Singles and married couple find opportunities to gather as well as volunteer. Wednesday night is no longer just for the boys and girls club but a family event. Sunday school ranks swell as people weekly learn Biblical principles about life and devotion to God.
By the way, the principles contained in the book by author Joseph Michelli are really not all that remarkable in themselves. They are however, remarkably relevant. Taking some liberty, here is a list of the principles with my church application notes following:
- Make it your own: make all people in the church feel a true sense of belonging and believe that they have a purpose in the kingdom.
- Everything matters: What is preached is the entire council of God, not just the fun stuff. Husbands, wives children and singles, holiness, spiritual growth and reaching out to the widows and orphans are all important.
- Surprise and delight: Surprise church visitors with authentic hospitality. Reach out to those that are suffering. Pray for the sick and financially assist and counsel those not only in the church but in the community as well.
- Embrace resistance: Jesus said that a servant isn't greater than his master. "If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you: (John 15:20) A church that faces no persecution is likely to not be preaching the gospel. Embrace it in love.
- Leave your mark: True stewardship is all about serving God with integrity, storing up for yourselves true treasures in heaven. Christian funerals are celebrations of a servant who has truly left their mark.
In case you didn't catch my theme, this is all about churches being remarkable. Being remarkable can be defined as "Worthy of notice" and "noticed as being unusual or extraordinary". It doesn't necessarily mean serving Starbucks coffee in the lobby.