Monday, December 3, 2012

A Lesson from Starbucks

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

I went to a Starbucks the other day to find the slogan “Rekindle the Joy” emblazoned on their door. In July of this past year, their stocks fell due to a lowered projection in fourth quarter earnings.  Before the recession, a Starbucks cup was somewhat of a status symbol and brought with it a sense of well-being.  Now, the same cup seems to represent superfluous spending and a lack of priority.  In response, the company hopes to re-brand themselves by reminding people of the togetherness that happens over a cup of coffee.  
While this is a silly illustration, it makes me think of a much greater branding issue that we as Christians have.  As I was driving down the road the other day, a church’s billboard read “you may think someone is sweet until you sit in their pew.”  Somewhere, the church has gone from being the Body of Christ to a competitive bunch of social organizations.  We love those who are like us and judge those who are not. The name Jesus Christ no longer brings a sense of peace, hope, and joy to those but rather dread, condescension, and distrust. 

If we were to re-brand Christianity today perhaps a tag phrase could be: Truly Transformed.  You see, Starbucks began to lose business because people realized that the company was capitalizing on really expensive coffee. The product did not live up to the hype.  Unfortunately, for some cynics, they see Christianity the same way: a group of sugar-coated people on the outside that if you mess with them, watch out. Yet, these naysayers miss the ultimate picture of Christianity: Christ.  When Jesus was alive, people were attracted to him.  Today, the church constantly has to come up with catch slogans and programs to get people in the doors. Therefore, if we could re-brand ourselves, allowing Christ to truly transform us, the Church, and the way in which we relate to those around us, the world would have a completely different perception to Christianity.  Not only would it be different, it would be magnetic.

What are some practical ways you can “re-brand” yourself to where others see Christ in you?

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