Ok, so, I worked for Starbucks for over 2 years, and, still to this day, I can not get my coffee at home to taste like the coffee at my local Starbucks, or for any Starbucks for that matter. Now, I realize that each Starbucks is loaded with an awesome water filtration system in each of their stores. It’s a little known fact that the water coming out of the water taps at Starbucks, and even into the toilets, is as fresh, if not fresher, than the bottled water that they sell. They also brew the coffee at the perfect temperature and they never let the coffee sit for more than 30 minutes. However, at home, I grind all my own beans, I use the filtered water from my fridge, I brew fresh every morning and no matter how hard I try I can’t get my coffee to taste like that. Why?
Could it be that the coffee house experience has a physical manifestation? That the smells, the relationships, the fact that someone else is making your coffee for you can actually make it taste… better?! Or, is it just a better product in the store front?
Can we then ask if this same question, of the experience, should be true for our faith communities? Is it so hard to believe that if we have healthy community, experiential worship, meaningful relationships and, of course, good coffee, that a person from our neighborhood investigating, “Who this Jesus is”, coming into our churches should be able to say, ” Why doesn’t my life taste like that”? Again, a spiritual manifestation of the experiential!
My contention is that if we offer people a place to experience and encounter the living God through community, worship, service to the poor and the cross we could change the world! Heck, we might even be able to make church coffee taste like I make it at home?