Sunday, February 17, 2008

Starbucks Venti Into Retraining

It seems that Starbucks baristas don't know how to make a decent latte any more. Far from its roots as the reliable place to get coffee perfectly made, the chain has lately become famous for its automatic machines and the hit-or-miss quality of its products. Checkout the links below for the full story.

You see nationwide for three hours on Tuesday, February 26 every Starbucks will close for retraining. Starting at 5:30 p.m., baristas in the coffee giant's 7,100 stores will learn how to do things better. They'll learn how to make a perfect shot, how to steam milk, and hopefully how not to burn coffee. While it's doubtful that three hours of training will reverse years of gathering mediocrity, it's certainly symbolic of a company that wants to get back to basics like quality coffee and superior service.

If retraining is important for companies (especially companies that focus on retail) how much more important is it for the church to retrain and refocus on the essentials, love God and love others.

Jesus practiced this technique of training, sending, regrouping for further Kingdom work. Take a look at Luke 9:1-11. He sends out the twelve and when they return Jesus takes them away for m ministry for debriefing and further training. Their time of retraining only lasted for a short time. Just like Starbucks’ customers, the crowds couldn’t handle Jesus and his disciples being unavailable and they followed Jesus and company out into the country. This set up one of Jesus more dramatic miracles, the feeding of 5000 (men). This event continued the twelve’s additional training as they learned that Jesus was provider as well as healer.

I know that the disciples could not have been all that happy having to go back to serving the masses, especially since that had just experienced the power of God in their ministry. They had preached, taught and performed miracles themselves and I’m sure wanted to swap war stories and talk about their past experiences. Instead they were asked to put the past into focus and get busy with the present ministry needs. Jesus forced them to be outwardly focused when they were still busy celebrating the past. I’ve known churches that still revel in telling the war stories of bygone days and then wonder why no new ministry is taking place.

Sometimes we are so inwardly focused that we forget our reason for being here in earth is to go and make disciples. Often God calls us to Go where we are, other times God calls us to leave and go. Regardless, this is not a one-time event but rather a lifetime of experiences. Matthew 28:19-20.

Going where I am,

Dr. Val

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