Starbucks vs. McDonalds

Cool drinks heat up competition

My affection for Starbucks coffee is well-documented and a source of great “ribbing” by many people. Most of you however understand that this is not a formal addiction, but merely a preference. Atleast that is my story and I am sticking with it.

I found the above linked story at the Seattle Post-Intelligener site. It describes McDonald’s attempt to compete with Starbucks over iced coffee. McDonalds has done well with their new premium coffee and I am sure will do well with their new offering as well.

The point I want to make is this: It is not so much about coffee as it is community. Starbuck’s key ingredient at this point in time is that they offer high quality products in the context of a neighborhood gathering spot. A place where people can congregate and comfortably have a conversation or get some much needed work done. The employees are universally friendly I have found, they are competent in their craft, and they seem to enjoy what they are doing. They go a long way in creating an environment that many people resonate with. And they have found that people are willing to pay a price for all of this.

Okay, okay, I am getting somewhere I promise. The church could learn a great deal from Starbucks in how to reach the young boomers, Gen X and Yers. They want an experience that they can connect with and count on from a quality perspective. They are drawn to a place where they feel wanted, be themselves, and be a part of something larger than themselves. They are drawn to a place that people honestly enjoy being together and are friendly to new persons. They are drawn to a place where people are so excited about what is going on that they “evangelize” (i.e. talk about it, BLOG ABOUT IT, invite their friends, become identified with it.)

On a global church note: We would do well to look around us and see how people are doing life. The Gospel is timeless truth and will never change. However, our conveying/preaching/sharing the Gospel must continually change and meet people in the center of where they are. No watering down or apologies needed!

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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