June 11, 2006

Starbucks Religion

Scripture Reading — Acts 5:25-42

"We must obey God rather than men!" Acts 5:29 — 

I'm not a coffee drinker. But a while ago a friend asked me to meet him at a corner coffee shop. The choices astounded me! They sell lattes and frappachinos. You can order your cup with full caffeine, half, or none. You can ask for a brew of fresh-ground beans from Kenya or Ecuador or from a chemical-free field. For the less creative (or those simply overwhelmed by the choices) there's a "house brew."

While I waited for my friend, my coffee thoughts turned to the church. Many shop for their ideal church like Starbucks customers. We want music suited to our tastes--no drums, some drums, or loud drums! We order our liturgy--traditional, non-traditional, or blended. We want the right preaching--with lots of laughter, a little laughter, or none at all. We insist on chairs or tables or pews--with cushions or without. Some require a dress code--suit and tie, corporate casual, or jeans and shorts.

Some of us shop a while and then quit--frustrated because we can't order exactly what we want. But no one is completely satisfied with his or her church--even people who start them! Yet maybe we've gotten so used to options, so accustomed to having things "as ordered," that we now expect churches to be like Starbucks.

The church, of course, is not a boutique created with us in mind. The church is a band of witnesses.


Father, forgive us for church shopping. Forgive our Starbucks religion. We ask that our church may serve you, not ourselves. Give us the wisdom to live for you by faith. Amen.


Devotion topics: Life, Christian Life, Missions