Church As Starbucks?

I’m not sure about who did this parody, or know anything about them, but it’s too good to pass up. No church is perfect, and each has its problems and quirks, but I suspect we’ve nonetheless all experienced something like this video.

So the question I’d like to pose is whether “church” as we’ve known it needs to morph into something different, and if so, what?

Is God saying anything to folks about His idea of what an authentic community of believers should look like, how it should be structured and how we should all fit in?

What are the old wine skins, and what are the new? And what do people think about the growing home church movement — with any specific experiences (good or bad)?

(c) Copyright 2009, Fulcrum Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

5 responses

  1. I think people are growing tired of the “pastor” centric focus of our churches. The office of “pastor” is only mentioned once in the New Testament (in Eph. 5), yet it has become the dominant feature of modern evangelical churches. Our churches seem to succeed, or fail, based on the strengths and weaknesses of our pastors because we have put them on such a pedestal — as shown by the nasty comments you received when you dared to raise the question in your recent post about how to deal with issues involving disabling sin and improprieties in our church leaders (as though they are untouchable or beyond reproach!).

    We have lost community because of our pastor focused emphasis, and waste resources in building monuments to their egos in the form of expensive buildings. The New Testament churches were able to do just fine (and they too had their problems, for sure) meeting in peoples’ homes with an emphasis on community and every person ministering to each other, each according to their gifts. We need pastors and elders, but not as the “sole proprietors” of our churches.

    I think the home church movement is an attempt to get back to balanced community, and also away from front-led churches with all of their programmed, neat, tidy but shallow “professionalism”. Most churches today tend to inhibit true community because they focus on ministry from the front or by the professional staff, rather than equiping folks to do ministry (by each member of the community to each other) based on our individual gifts.


  2. This video is hilarious because it rings so true! Most churches today are very pastor centered. There should not be such a dichotomoy between “professional ministry” and the laity or the secular and the sacred. We are called to minister wherever it is the Lord puts us. I think the trend towards home churches is a healthy one in general. The early Church was not a place people went; it was not a building. The Church was the body of believers.

    I got a postcard in the mail from a local church; you know one of those “cutting edged relevant ones”. The post card said things like “have a blast, dress casually, your kids will have a blast!”; they listed all the activities and talked about their classes. No mention of the Gospel or God or Jesus Christ. It looked as if someone went to marketing 101 and were applying the principles that they learned there.

    More and more Church is becoming a place to meet felt needs. It’s not like felt needs have no importance. But is Christianity in danger of becoming Christless?


  3. After seeing the video, About StarBucks….Let’s and contrast with how christianity is packaged for the guy on the street.
    The church that I go to recently changed their affiliation from OPC to PC. Apparently the OPC is now strictly mainline denominatioonal, oh they give to missionaries but preferr their comfortable pews to actually getting ddown and dirty with “sinners”. At any rate our church changed to PC, because the PC serves the inner cities and their needs.
    The population in our church has changed, and those in my age group (almost retirees and older) have all moved away. Those that I was fellowshipping with have also left this church to stay with the OPC. So I find myself in a strange situation where I know no one in church.
    I miss the Church that my Husband and I came out of (non-denominational charismatic Spirit led). I miss the way the Spirit moved everyone, where our needs were actually met. The church that we came out of/though spirit led was physically led by normal people and normal people have their problems, but the whole church died due to hurt feelings.
    Where is the balance between taking and giving / recieviing and sharing ???Christ should be at the CENTER of each and every church. sometimes it’s the message: ” You’re a sinner, and We can change that”
    Sometimes it’s “Name it and Claim it”.
    But didn’t Christ first met people where they were and didn’t he meet their needs? Somewhere between bringing in “converts” and sending out missionaries…There has to be Christ. Where is the balance between Christ and his promises and Christ and His final Judgement???
    House churches seem to be the way to meet needs, but somehow it just doesn’t work in a Denaominational church. But even in non-denominational churches there are still problems to be worked out. How on earth is it supposed to work out so that nobody goes away with hurt and wounded feelings????
    It just isn’t as easy as putting up a stand (Think Lucy’s Psych evaluation, in Peanut’s Comic Strip) or a Store Front (Like StarBucks) having a menu board and doing the same old same old with a twist of lemon or lime.
    I long to see the spirit work during a worship service. Instead it’s announcements, opening Bible verse, two or three songs, offertory, sermon, closing…then a mad rush to get out of the doors.


  4. Have you read Harold Eberle’s “The Complete Wineskin – Restructuring the Church for the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit”? It answers a lot of questions and gives good insight as to what the church should look like. Problem is, I can’t find it anywhere. Perhaps this weekend at Jerry and Marian Cates’ house church in Norfolk…..


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