I just watched a hilarious, yet simultaneously sad video on beyondrelevance.com entitled, "What If Starbucks Marketed Like the Church?" It's intended to be a parody of the way churches operate today. The clip was kind of an eye-opener, revealing a Starbucks that is not set up to be customer-friendly. It raises the question, is this how our churches really are? Are we really this unfriendly, cold and plastic to both potential and current members?
What do you think of the video? Can we really make a comparison between church and a coffee shop? Or is the creator of this video really stretching it a bit?
Also, does the clip remind you of your church? How can we change the way that church appears to newcomers to make it a more friendly, open place to worship?
This was all too familiar. To be honest, I dislike the idea of the church being "marketed" at all--it seems like half of what creeped out that poor couple were the marketing gimmicks the church was trying. Would they have been as creeped out if the coffeeshop/church just flat out offered them coffee/Jesus? Without the consumer-age gimmickry?
I think that most churches do operate like this, sadly. However, at the United Methodist Church I went to, there was none of that nonsense. All we had were little cards on the pews to fill out and leave on the pew if you are a first-time churchgoer, visitor, or if you wanted to request prayers for you or a family member, etc. Everyone was extremely down to earth and friendly, and not in the overly friendly televangelist kind of way. The church's slogan was "Open Hearts, Open Minds" so noone there cared what politician, causes you supported or what sexual orientation, race, gender, etc you were. I even had a Wiccan friend come and wore his huge pentagram necklace etc and noone treated him any differently. They knew that some of their members only came on Easter and Christmas, and they didn't put them down for it at all or point them out about it.
Other than those commercials on TV where you see someone lost who finds the way to a UM Church, there really isn't any marketing. I loved that church because everyone was just so "real" and not yelling AMEN or HALLELUJAH BROTHER or acting like they were possessed. And the sermons had some humor in them usually, too. :)
I think some churches just overdo it, like the starbucks in the video.. :/ It's sad because it can be SUCH a turnoff!
i would have to agree with laytexduckie that i haven't really experienced that type of church before and feel like liberties were taken with this clip, though i can imagine that there are some churches like that out there. it is quite unfortunate how churches get lumped together. One bad experience can turn off people with out them realizing is really out there.
it is a shame though that most people only go to church to "get something out of the experience". they want a service that they can relate to. they want it marketed. Would you expect a large mass of people to attend a service that only played hymns on an organ, has a "dry" sermon, but down-to-earth friendly members? no because that's not what society has deemed church to be, that's not what this generation wants. but is there anything wrong with that style of worship no.
people have many styles of worship, whether it be the aforesaid or "jumping up and down shouting hallelujah". you cannot judge how people worship. or what makes an experience real to them.
A bit exaggerated, but sadly true. When the couple entered and waited in line, and the men turned around and eyed them up and down with that awkward smile... I know that look all too well. My experience going to churches is that exact look that puts me off. It's not a welcoming look, but rather "why are you here and who do you know who brought you here?" look.
I've been to a lot of different churches and yes, some are just like that, but then again, there are actually some that aren't. I am so glad that not all of them are. I can honestly say that I am blessed with the church that I am apart of. I've learned a lot and quite a bit of it has been through experience.
But just like there's a coffee shop on every corner, so are churches.
Like some coffeshops that are only interested in customers that are walking dollar signs, so too can some churches. I wonder who the director was making a commentary at the Church or the Coffeeshop? Hhhmmmm
My church is not like that, although sometimes there are to many people like the first guy the couple bumped into.
Thank God Starbucks doesn't market like the church does... otherwise, I'd have to beg for a ride out to the 'burbs just for a cup of coffee! To say nothing of all that awkward "what the hell do I do now?" standing around I'd have to do once I was finished drinking said coffee.
If God = coffee, the comparison isn't quite right. God really is someone to love passionately, someone who makes radical changes in people's lives, someone to share with others. However, we don't have to "sell" him, like people won't be interested otherwise. God is real; he is powerful; he is like a good cup of java that can speak for itself.
What stood out to me from the video is how churches often try to market themselves. Rather than caring about people experiencing coffee (God), they care about customers coming to their shop. They put down and compete with other churches in order to keep people coming to them. That's just wrong.
I felt like I was watching a flashback. I actually did get a coffee mug for filling out an info card at a church I visited. People really did get super excited about the offering bucket being passed around. The pastors used the same...what's the word?...ambitious...tones of voice.
Too funny! "...a bean has been planted." LOL. "Javalujah!" Hahaha!
About Me: Hi, I'm Amanda. I am a 22-year-old Catholic journalist attending the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. When I'm not reporting, I love to write about my faith. God has taught me so much over the past couple of years, and I am so thankful that I can have a relationship with Him!
"For love of You, I'm a sky on fire. For love of you, I've come alive. And it's Your Sacred Heart within me beating, your voice within me singing out for love of You." -Audrey Assad.