Sweet brews EPIC view of Starbucks

5/1/2007

Recommendation: The Gospel According to Starbucks, By Leonard Sweet 

Comments: The original title of the book was Jehovah Java: The Gospel According to St. Arbucks. Leonard Sweet said that no one seemed to get the translation of “Jehovah Java” as “The God Who Awakens Thee.” His hope is that this book will join other resources in awakening the church to the world we actually have, not the world we wish we have. 

The book does just that, examining the Starbucks experience and the phenomenal growth of numbers of people who gladly stand in line for a cup of coffee, paying $3 and upward for coffee creations. Starbucks Coffee Co.’s stock is up 5,775 percent since it went public in 1992. 

Applying observation of the Starbucks experience to the life of the church, Sweet invites us into what he terms an EPIC adventure: Experiential, participatory, image-rich and connective. 

The doors are open; the coffee is brewing naturally and seemingly effortless while suggesting permanence. There is only tall and short, no medium (who wants to be in the middle of anything?). The possibilities are 5,500 different coffee orders. The culture has its own language with a seeker-sensitive brochure handy. The Onion cartoon captures the reality: “Starbucks opens in the restroom of an existing Starbucks.” 

The passion that barristas (coffee creators) have for creating an irresistible experience is instructive, connecting us with God’s stirring beckoning to the experience of faith.  Read, relax and enjoy. 

Cokesbury Bookstore in Ridgeland offers a 25-percent discount on the monthly Bishop’s Bookshelf selections. This is a limited-time offer.