Nameless, Coffee-less Starbucks

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Christian, General, inspiration, Jesus, Writing/Publishing
Tags: , ,

My friend Peter Mallett sent this to me earlier this week and it made such an impression I wanted to share it with you:

Wait! Before you fall out of your chair and start a letter writing campaign, Starbucks is still going to carry coffee; at least I think so. In recent news Starbucks unveiled a new logo which excluded the Starbucks name and the word coffee. This seems silly to me. It has been forty years since the company started selling coffee in Seattle’s Pike Peak marketplace. The mermaid (or siren) was an attempt to the catch the seafaring history of coffee and Seattle’s strong seaport roots. In that time they have gained coffee recognition around the world. Why take the name and coffee off the logo?

“It gives us the freedom and flexibility to think beyond coffee, but make no mistake we have been, we will continue to be, and we always will be the world’s leading purveyor of the highest quality of coffee” says, Howard Shultz, Starbucks CEO.

This still seems like odd doublespeak to me. We want flexibility/freedom to move beyond coffee, but we will remain a coffee industry leader. I don’t get it. I’m all for diversity, but why does that require distancing yourself from your name and the most recognized service you provide?

Although I don’t understand this move, I do see similarities with some of our “ideas” for Church. We are supposed to be about Christ, knowing Him, and making Him known. In our attempts to make our churches updated and ready for the 21st century we sound a little bit like Howard Shultz.

While it might be fine for a coffee company to think beyond coffee, as the Church of Christ, we are not supposed to think “beyond” Jesus. Everything we do must be to get others see Jesus Christ. We can use technology, we can take the Gospel to the streets, and we can print Bibles like never before. It is acceptable to slant the devotions and notes to show how the Bible, God’s word, is relevant to different walks of life, as long as we keep our center on Him.

However I am afraid in our trying to be more seeker friendly, less abrasive, or media savvy, we are removing Christ from the core. We cannot forget He is our purpose. The moment we move beyond Christ, and get someone to look at something else we have lost the battle. The Church pointing toward Christ, is like a jeweler showing of his prize diamond. It has many facets, it shines differently in varying light, yet he would never cease to call it a diamond. The great apostle Paul indeed said that he tried to be …all things to all people, but he never compromised Christ, his reason was …so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
We must keep Christ at the core of everything we do. He is our namesake. He is our only message. To move beyond Christ is sin.

Ref: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 NASB

If you want to know a little more about the author of this guest post, check him out at

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