Have you ever heard of The Green Apron Book? It's a small booklet that most Starbucks baristas carry in their apron. It outlines the values, purpose, mission, and guiding principles of the Starbucks organization. It only takes about 5 minutes to read, but it packs a powerful punch.
What's the Starbucks purpose? To provide an uplifting experience that enriches people's daily lives.
What are the basic instructions to all Starbucks store employees? 1) BE WELCOMING. Offer everyone a sense of belonging. 2) BE GENUINE. Connect, discover, respond. 3) BE KNOWLEDGEABLE. Love what you do. Share it with others. 4) BE CONSIDERATE. Take care of yourself, each other, and your environment. 5) BE INVOLVED. In the store, in the company, in your community.
I'm also in the process of reading The Starbucks Experience by Joseph A. Michelli. As I'm reading both these books, it occurs to me why many churches are in decline. Because we have Starbucks! Starbucks tries to be everything to your community that your church used to be. They attempt to offer a sense of community, belonging, caring people, civic responsibility, genuine relationships, and enriching experiences. They basically offer everything but Jesus (which is the one thing in the church's favor).
I'm not criticizing Starbucks or saying they are the church's competition. I am saying the church could actually learn a bit from Starbucks. If churches put as much effort into making people feel welcome and known as does Starbucks, our retention rate would be 100X better. I'm actually considering using The Green Apron Book as a tool in Living Hope's greeter/welcome team training. There's so much of it that translates over into church life.
Check out The Starbucks Experience. So far it's great! I'll review it once I've finished it. And if you want to get a copy of The Green Apron Book...well, it can't be purchased. But your local barista will be happy to give you a copy if you ask for one!