Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I very seldom go to Starbucks – though I do love their coffee! However, the other day Uni and I received a gift card as a gift. So I went in and purchased a pound of espresso beans (I still had to cough up some money over and above the $10 gift card.).

The line was very long, so I amused myself by observing the various customers and their purchases. I’ve done this before.

As I’ve pondered on my observations, I’ve come to the (unscientific) conclusion that most people that frequent Starbucks really don’t like coffee! Now, of course, this has not been a scientific, statistical study. My observations were of a very small sampling, with undoubtedly a substantial margin of error. Still …

My observations, for what they’re worth:
 Many customers don’t even buy coffee – they buy some sort of tea or other beverage!
 Many who do purchase coffee buy it decaffeinated – with its stimulant removed. They like coffee, but they like it without that which (to my mind) makes it coffee.
 Many purchase it with various flavor enhancers – hazelnut, amaretto, French vanilla and others I’m not familiar with.
 Cream, sugar, Lattes, Cappuccinos, iced – anything but a plain cup of coffee.
 Then, of course, there are those who don’t care for any of the products. They just come in to hang around and meet their friends.

Please don’t take those observations as those of a judgmental old curmudgeon. I like my coffee with a little bit of creamer and the coffee that Uni and I brew at home is half-decaf. (Of course, when you drink 3 pots a day between two people …) And I do like an occasional Cappuccino.

So, where am I going with this? Well, I think church is a lot like Starbucks and folks who attend church are a lot like those who “attend” Starbucks.

There are those who like the church’s main “product” to be diluted, flavored up, sweetened, cooled down. Some like it without anything that would stimulate. Some want a substitute that they can carry out that looks like the real thing. And there are those who just want to hang around and meet their friends.

And then, of course, there are those who like their Christianity to be robust, rich and strong.

Bill Ball


Karen said...

Wow, I'm gonna think twice when I add sugar and milk to my coffee in the morning...

Bill Ball said...