In a recent LinkedIn article, I read this quote by Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz:
“I'm fond of saying — and I've said it a thousand times over the years — we're not in a coffee business serving people. We're in a people business serving coffee.”
Although, I recognize that Howard hasn’t fallen in many people’s good books in recent years due to some of the positions he’s taken and enforced through his organization, the point he’s making above is sound.
Perhaps you agree right off the bat with the statement, but only in terms of a business context. So let me ask this question to you as a church or a ministry: do you need to remember what you’re about?
One of the risks of ministry life is that we can get very busy ‘doing’ the things that the church does. For instance, we can find ourselves very tied up with making sure the next big church outreach event comes off without a hitch. Or, we get busy making sure that the music for this weekend’s service is great and well executed and you can functionally forget that you are there for God and for the people that are there to worship with you.
That's the subtlety in Howard Schultz’s statement that applies to churches. To paraphrase him, we are not in the event management business for people, we are in the honouring God and serving people business, and we happen to put on events as a part of that.