Who doesn’t love a good Starbucks experience? You walk in and order your favorite drink. The barista smiles and might even create some small talk with you. The delightful sound of your name being called so you can now enjoy your favorite drink while sitting in a comfortable seat, listening to music or reading a book. It’s the life. We’ve embraced this experience. Starbucks makes us feel good. We exchange money and time for pleasure, comfort, and experience. Don’t get me wrong about Starbucks. I love my Venti Passion Tea with a Berry Hibiscus Refresher, no berries, half classic. But sometimes I compare real-life experiences with spiritual ones.
I can’t help to think how our experience with a retailer like Starbucks is starting to look a lot like the modern church. We exchange money and time (usually an hour of our week) for experience, comfort, and pleasure. This superficial experience of exchanging pleasantries to simply feel good about our life has become the norm among modern day churches. It’s scary, right? Answering the age-old question of “how are you doing” with “Great! Good. I’m just a little tired but overall doing well.”
I can’t help to think how our experience with a retailer like Starbucks is starting to look a lot like the modern church. We exchange money and time (usually an hour of our week) for experience, comfort, and pleasure.
Church should be a place to be real. Where we can lay our burdens in front of the alter with our brothers and sisters. No judgment. I’m not saying we all show up to church and simply air out all our problems or am I? Where else would you go that gives wise counsel, prayer, and hope? In Matthew 11:28 it says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” We should leave church refreshed, renewed and prepared. But how can this happen if we’re simply putting on a show as if church was another networking event or social gathering?
I’m guilty. I allow my desire to have great experiences overshadow the desire to seek God. What I love about Remnant is our unwavering desire to pursue a real God and admit we’re broken individuals. Imagine a place where authenticity isn’t a hype word but a practice? If you’ve sat in your room with tears questioning the purpose of life or asked yourself “how will I get through this week? Showed up at work, trying to concentrate but still overwhelmed with emotion from the fight you just had at home or the kid that just said they hate you, don’t hide out at Starbucks but openly bring those burdens to God. Just you and Him with a group of people that understand, will embrace you, and love you through it. That’s authenticity. That’s Jesus. That’s the real church.