A new Starbucks opened on Hill Road. This may prove to be a problem because it is in my direct path of coming to church on most days. I’m not a coffee snob as some people are (READ: my son Ben, who thinks purchasing Starbucks coffee is being a sell-out to corporate America and is NOT “real“ coffee). I usually enjoy a dollar coffee that I’ve picked up at the McDonald’s drive-thru (which coincidentally is across the street from the new Starbucks). I’m not sure I can write Ben’s opinion of McDonald’s coffee.
Generally, I have found that Starbucks establishments have better lighting, better music (for when I decide to start my day writing a sermon in a public place rather than my church office) and of course better coffee than McDonalds. The problem is all of this ambiance carries a price tag. McDonald’s coffee is a dollar. Starbucks might want to change their name to “Five-Bucks.” Still there will be times in the future (shhh… don’t tell frugal Karla) that I will stop into the new Starbucks and pay a little more for all of the above reasons.
What I’m trying to say is that for the real thing, in the right environment and at the right time, I am willing to pay a little more. I hope that the church notices these same characteristics. The church is a volunteer organization. No one is forced to come (my boys might have argued that point about ten years ago). There are a lot of options for people. That’s why it is important that all of us strive for excellence in all areas. Everything must be done well from the preaching, to the singing, welcoming, cleanliness of the building, the nursery staff, children’s and youth workers and everyone else. If people walk into a church and feel it is unfriendly or untidy or underwhelming in its care for their children, you can have Billy Graham behind the pulpit and these folks will never come back.
We used to sing a hymn back in the day with the title, “Give your best to the Master.” It still applies. Whatever your task in God’s Kingdom give the Master your best. I think that was Paul’s point too when he told the church folks in Colossae: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23).
We have a world to reach for Jesus and all of us play a role in this global evangelism effort. Let’s make sure all of our efforts (both inside and outside the church walls) are pleasing to the Master. What you do and how you do it matters!