Guide The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion

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I like both of them. I did not like this book. Mar 19, Sean Higgins rated it did not like it. I love and live for the gospel. I like Starbucks a lot.

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But this book was bad, totally man-centered, encouraging emergents to create and market church "experiences" like someone would buying a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Feb 23, Deborah-Ruth rated it liked it. I am not a coffee drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but we all have to admit that there is something extra special about Starbucks coffee. There is a reason why Starbucks serves more overpriced coffee than any other chain, why having two Starbucks across the street from each other actually increases sales rather than decreases it, and why Starbucks is growing at an exponentially faster rather than its competitors.

The secret lies in their business marketing strategy. Using Starbucks as I am not a coffee drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but we all have to admit that there is something extra special about Starbucks coffee. Using Starbucks as a prime example for "evangelism" and even stating that Starbucks itself has adopted a lot of church language as business language, Leonard Sweet makes the cases that churches likewise need to be invested into personal relationships with their congregants, provide a positive "third place" for people to meet outside of their homes or work , and ultimately need to produce an EPIC Experiential, Participatory, Image-Rich, Connective life.

Although I found the backdrop and the idea behind the book highly creative, I can't say that I actually got much out of reading Sweet's book.


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I appreciate his sense of passion, but I think the allegory was a bit too over stated and too tightly knit together and thus became more about coffee than about Christ. Still, an interesting read if we want to think about church growth or the intricate dynamics behind the life of a church. Oct 15, Rick rated it it was amazing. Sweet makes a pretty good argument for the passion that should be part of the church and part of the Christian life.

Using the business model of Starbucks Sweet attempts to show the reader how Starbucks doesn't just offer you coffee, but an immersive experience; sight, sound, taste, texture, a community vibe and more and then he makes suggestions about how the church could take a cue from Starbucks. May 23, Amy rated it did not like it Shelves: nonfiction , religion. I grew weary of this and had to abandon ship. I see I'm not alone.

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I am unlikely to read any more of Sweet's works. He began to annoy me after a few chapters, and this did not improve. Especially the bit about preaching while someone was surfing the internet for images to accompany the sermon. Okee dokee. Aug 14, Robbie Pruitt rated it really liked it. Sweet makes the point that the church is supposed to be E.

The E. Jesus taught experientially, called His followers to participate in His kingdom work, and used parables and other imagery in His teaching. Jesus also called the church to deep community as we see throughout the gospels and the book of Acts. Many denominations are not offering the E. However, some denominations are, and this is what our North American culture is hungry for.

Jesus and His disciples were E. Sweet is right, we should enter into worship as participators, not as spectators. We are called by God into great community, see Acts Everything we do in our worship should be full of imagery with deep meaning. The Gospel of Christ bids us come and die, to give of ourselves fully, as Christ gave himself for us and died for our sins. We are to offer ourselves up as living sacrifices and to fully participate in worship Romans This book and this idea of E. We cannot follow and teach the gospel and live the gospel without E. Jun 23, Patty rated it it was amazing.

Has your walk with God has become rather commonplace? If not, brew yourself a strong cup of coffee and settle in to experience The Gospel According to Starbucks. It is the same with the Church—too many Christians line up to follow God out of a sense Has your walk with God has become rather commonplace?

It is the same with the Church—too many Christians line up to follow God out of a sense of obligation or even guilt, and consequently miss out on the warmth, richness and depth of an abiding relationship with God. If Christians hope to live with grande passion, according to Sweet, we need to incorporate three passions of the life of faith: provenance, beauty and rarity. I regret that limited space does not permit me to fully expound on the ways this book has stretched me and challenged me.

For a full cup, I recommend buying your own copy. May 20, Brenda Register rated it it was amazing. This book rocked my narrow mind and set me free. Read it, you won't want to put it down. It kicks out any idea of being religious so you can have the liberty Jesus came to give us. We were born to be creative. The ability to be creative, not get stuck in man's traditions and the non-thinking status-quo, links us to others in revealing the important puzzle piece we are.

It was no accident that I picked it up. Like picking up a Geode in the desert, a This book rocked my narrow mind and set me free. Like picking up a Geode in the desert, and cracking it open to find colorful treasure inside. I went back for more copies when I realized what I had, and they were all gone. I love the church, but the religious mindsets of man have to go, to make way for a higher life of liberty, getting rid of the idea that man can qualify man.

On the contrary, God qualifies those He calls, and man or women was never given dominion over another man or women. I am a lover and devourer of the Word of God, and this man of God, Leonard Sweet, has blessed us with a tool to remember it was for freedom, that Christ came, setting the captives free. Churches don't create captives, people have forgotten who they are. They have forgotten to be creative, and lead, instead of follow. This book helps pave a way to the possibilities, using a modern day analogy of the Starbucks cafe's.

It is very creative, and a way to give a word picture you will remember. Sweet brought me right into the cafe, with my hands around a hot grande vanilla latte, smelling the robust coffee grounds in the air and sitting on the edge of my seat, listening with my whole person. I totally enjoyed it. I would read it again and I highly recommend it. Great Christmas gift of small price, and a priceless result.

Dec 02, Robert Woodman rated it really liked it Recommends it for: all Christians. What can Starbucks teach Christians about presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world? Sweet, founder and president of SpiritVenture Ministries, and a coffee addict okay, let's be clear: a STARBUCKS addict compared the way that Starbucks presents the coffee experience to the way most churches present "the Christian message", and he finds the church lacking.

First, presenting the message without an ex What can Starbucks teach Christians about presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world? First, presenting the message without an experiential context will fail with most people under age 30, Sweet argues. Second, the experience that is presented, to the extent that a Christian experience is presented at all, fails to compel, fails to motivate, fails to change lives, minds, or hearts.

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Sweet then carefully shows how Starbucks presents the coffee experience, and he draws careful lessons on how the Christian church could and, he argues, should retool its presentation to make it accessible for modern sensibilities. One misunderstanding here needs to be cleared up. Sweet is not arguing that the Christian message needs to be changed.

The Gospel According to Starbucks (This book has not been authorized by Starbucks Coffee Company)

His point is that the Christian experience , the packaging of the message, needs to be changed to make it appealing to a modern audience with a frame of reference that is foreign to most traditional Christians. Verdict: I really liked it. Aug 07, Stephanie rated it liked it. This book proposes a revolutionary idea: that the church become more like Starbucks. The church, on the other hand, is doctrine-based and not relationship-based. The example that resonated with me was the freedom that came in being allowed to take coffee and donuts into the sanctuary, even at the risk of staining the carpet.

In every other church, the ministry existed for the carpet. Whatever else happened, the carpet had to be kept clean. Here was a church where the most important thing was relationships. Feb 25, Rich rated it liked it. Sweet takes this Starbucks idea, which would have made a great sermon or short series, and stretches it into a book. In my opinion, he takes the analogy too far. At points in the book it seems like he strays from the focus of the book in order to talk more about Starbucks. At times Sweet comes across as someone who wants you to know that he is smarter than you are.

It's as if he has all of the answers to the problems of the church, if only the church would listen to him. However, with that said, t Sweet takes this Starbucks idea, which would have made a great sermon or short series, and stretches it into a book. However, with that said, there are some good points made in the book about the current state of the church and society. I did wonder, however, how the current struggle Starbucks is having fending off one-dollar cups of coffee at McDonalds would change Sweet's analogy.. It is a quick read and worth the evening invested.

Mar 03, Alaina rated it liked it. Picking this up in the airport, it seemed like a really awesome book to read. And in the first chapter, Sweet convinced me it would be. But what started out as extremely thought provoking ended up being stretched a little too far for me. I thought he had some really awesome points my favorite was the E and C of EPIC [experiential and connected:] , but otherwise, I think he takes what could be a riveting series of Bible classes or sermon series and tries to make it into something it's not quite Picking this up in the airport, it seemed like a really awesome book to read.

I thought he had some really awesome points my favorite was the E and C of EPIC [experiential and connected:] , but otherwise, I think he takes what could be a riveting series of Bible classes or sermon series and tries to make it into something it's not quite cut out to be--a book. I will definitely keep this in my library for future reference there were some wonderful quotes from great Christians of the past , but overall, I wouldn't reccomend it to someone. Really interesting idea, not executed well. Very interesting. I was, at first, a bit irritated by the constant references to Starbucks, a coffee shop which I find over-rated, and vastly over-priced.

It seems to me to bear little relationship to the Gospel message. However, the author argues persuasively that the aims of Starbucks, and its purpose, do reflect some of what the Christian life should be, although sadly the 'modernist' church of today has veered far from the friendly, active, participatory community of the first century. But t Very interesting. But the writing is good, there are some thought-provoking questions and comments, and the later chapters are well worth reading.

The Gospel According to Starbucks: Living with a Grande Passion

Useful notes in the back, too. Nov 18, Julyan rated it did not like it. Am not sure if I ever would want to even spend the time to finish up this book. The references and analogies offered by Sweet is witty and entertaining. Might be considered a pretty decent read for someone who isn't religious. From a religious perspective, the book lacks solid content to render a serious read.


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Amusing but doesn't give you enough to really wanna think any deeper or further. The comparisons get too much and frequent, the result, not really something I'd spend the time on. Jun 25, Lisa rated it it was ok Shelves: nonfiction-faith. I read it this past summer after I read two Starbucks themed books the year before.

This turned out being the weakest one. It took me a long time to get through; even though the research was good and the connections were there, the writing just wasn't interesting enough for me. I would recommend this book to anyone who hasn't already read a book about Starbucks and who is beginning to seek Christianity. Oct 22, Adrian rated it really liked it. Sweet makes the point that as a church, denomination, or even follower of Christ we have missed the mark when it comes to understanding the Gospel.

Ultimately, the Gospel is not about separation but rather connection with all. This basic premise although the not new I think is one of the most misunderstood roles as a Christian. Jesus lived a life for all. We must get back to that and allow it to transform our spiritual lives with a grande passion. Apr 07, Elyse Hill rated it liked it. The underlying theme of this book was great. It present a model for creating an active, engaging environment in church. However, it did a better job of convincing me that Starbucks has a great business model than it did convincing me of a better way of doing church.

As someone who loves the idea of coffee Churches I had high hopes for this book. That, in a very few words, captures the contextual intelligence that Christians can gain from studying the Starbucks way of doing business. Sweet uses his semiotic study of Starbucks to push the Church beyond a bland, lukewarm approach to ministry.

If a gospel is gauged by the practice of those who believe it, the baristas at Academy Road in Winnipeg, Manitoba, show the gospel according to Starbucks is alive and well. Take Georgia Barker, for example—her evangelistic fervor is remarkable, even inspiring. She and her twentysomething colleagues can smell a sell-job a mile away. Barker has embraced the Starbucks experience because Starbucks gives her the opportunity to participate.

The difference is more than semantics. So, Barker is a stockholder as is every barista. Barker is also a recruiter. There are no exams, per se. You earn your black apron by broadening and deepening your Starbucks experience. The passion and knowledge of a coffee master is contagious: stores with black-apron baristas typically see a 10 percent increase in sales. What inspires the baristas at Academy Road to participate in the Starbucks experience? These awards reinforce the images and encourage ongoing participation. The Starbucks experience becomes a way of life. Barker refers to it as a culture.

More important than commendations and awards, however, are the connections this kind of culture creates. She decided to be involved by supporting a local elementary school whose classrooms were grossly undersupplied with reading material. McCarthy went to work collecting books. She put up signs and set up a book-collection basket at the Starbucks store. She organized and invited customers to a celebration event, where every customer who donated a book received a free Starbucks beverage.