Thursday, September 30, 2004

Churches like Starbucks(es)

One of the half-dozen or so books that I am reading right now is Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz. He is the current CEO of Starbucks and pretty much the guy who got them where they are today. I picked up this book after thinking about the amazing success of Starbucks and wonding if it could be applied to churches.

Not everything will translate over, but a lot of his ideas ring true and can be applied to churches. He writes about giving all employees health benefits and stock options, because their entire company rests on the work of their lowest employee. His goal is to give the best benefits so he can draw the best people and keep them.

In the church, the majority of the work needs to happen at the 'ground floor' so to speak. It is not the job of the preacher or the elders to make everything happen. People ought to be invited and informally taught by every member of the church. There is no special class of Christian.

In order to get this message across to the church, maybe we should use the idea of stock options. I'm not suggesting that churches 'go public' and start trading on Wall Street. What I am getting at is that stock options give employees ownership of their company and that motivates them to work harder, because they aren't just working for the boss anymore. Members of the church need to take ownership of the church, but for them to do that it needs to first be given to them. I can't start a church that is my baby. I need to let the church be built and grown by the members so that they know from the beginning that it is their church and not mine.

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