Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Book Review - Onward by Howard Schultz ...

Coffee has been a huge part of my life since I was 12 years old. My first interaction with coffee or a coffeeshop was a white chocolate mocha from Starbucks in Bloomington-Normal, IL. At they time my coffee taste buds were not so high and I needed a lot of sugar added to handle the coffee taste. But as I continued to grow up and my palette was toughened, I moved from a white chocolate mocha, to a vanilla latte, to drip coffee with a little bit of sugar, and now finally good old black coffee. My relationship and growth with coffee has grown from merely a small to go cup of coffee to a full on experience. In each city I have lived in over the past 5 years I have a specific coffee shop that has become home (Coffee Hound, Starbuck's, Corner Bloc, Mojo's, Strange Brew, & Coffee Emporium). Although I have a heart for local coffee shops, there has always been a place in my heart for Starbuck's Coffee Company. I am not really sure why, but there is merely something about my start of my relationship with coffee that links me to Starbuck's. This link has only continued when I got ahold of the story of Starbucks book Onward written by their Founder & CEO Howard Schultz himself. This book is written in the view of the story of Starbuck's and their journey from Pike Place to the thousands of stores across the world. Howard spend much of the book writting about the importance of leadership and leadership by communication. Reading through his words you can clearly see that coffee was not just grounds and some hot water, but coffee for Howard is a lifestyle, coffee for Howard is an experience. What I could take away from this is the connection between the Starbuck's business model and the business model of the local church. So much of the time we think of church as being merely a Sunday morning event that we are required to be a part of because scripture says so, but this is not our product, our product is a lifestyle or an experience. The Lord has called us to a build a church that is centered on bringing people into relationship with his son Jesus Christ and in doing so leading them on the path of sanctification. With this responsibility we cannot merely "sell a good cup of coffee", but we have to make people realize that a relationship with Christ is so much more. Like Howard, I look forwarrd to examining the ministry I am a part of and begin to understand if I am merely adding hot water to coffee grounds or if I am creating a once in a lifetime experience that will change the way people live their lives. till another day, normallyINDIE

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