It seems that Starbucks’ margins have been getting too thin. Seattle Corporate HQ recently announced that prices will go up 9 cents.
If you are a venti mocha non-fat latte regular, you may be grumbling next week. You’re already forking over more than three bucks a cup. But to all you caffeine-haters, this is a non-event. You may wonder why otherwise sane-looking people would spend that kind of dough for a mere cup of coffee.
The answer, of course, is that people aren’t just buying coffee. They are buying an experience. Quality coffee shops smell great, have quality snacks and sandwiches, provide a comfy place to meet friends or just people-watch, and sometimes even provide wireless internet access. They provide a place of respite and a sort of community to people who often feel rushed and alone.
Starbucks can teach the church a thing or two. Just like Starbucks, congregations that are thriving usually communicate to visitors a few basic things:
You matter. This place is here for you, and this organization cares about your experience.
Community matters. This is a place where you can meet great people.
Quality matters. Since our Lord has given us his best, we can do no less than give our best back to him.
Do you know what some churches do to evaluate the kind of experience they provide? They persuade/hire strangers that nobody knows to visit their services a couple of times and then describe their experience. Do you think that kind of project is too worldly and business-oriented, or are you curious how your church would appear to visitors?