There is too much in common with the community one finds among Christians and the community that is found at a Starbucks. Starbucks is something a large percentage of Americans have in common. Many of them go there on the daily. It is the headquarters of the American hipster culture.
When we see someone with a paper Starbucks’ cup and there is an immediate connection. A conversation can happen.
“What do you drink?”
“A skinny caramel latte. You?”
“Oh, I drink…”
Our addiction to brand name coffee unites us on a large level. We have something in common with millions of other people, because Starbucks are uniform across the country.
The depth of conversations in the Church has started to take on this surface level depth. This is for two big reasons; the first being that we change churches more than we change what we order at Starbucks. Sure, you can become a “regular” at one place (Either Starbucks or church), but as soon as the place goes a direction that doesn’t suit you personally its time to find another Starbucks/church to suit our wants.
Churches should really be our homes, where we encounter our family. You are more than a regular. You are involved. When you are in a family you can’t just leave it when there is a disagreement or when someone changes the music on the radio. You have to work through it. It’s about more than you. It’s about the family as a whole. Even past that Church is about Jesus, it’s not about us.
Christian community should have more depth with one another and more concern for one another. We are amazing at avoiding openness, honesty and depth. We hide what is going on in our lives by just saying “Fine.” to the “How are you?” question, no matter what is wrecking us personally. These brief encounters are only meant to be that. If someone opens up or pries we are blindsided.
Should we not care about what Jesus is doing in people’s lives? Whenever I get asked that question I get thrown for a loop, because often I have been pushing Jesus to the back burner because of school and work. I have to fake an answer. If I got asked that question enough I would probably actually work to have a real answer for the people asking.
To be open and honest with each other pushes us to shift from neutral to drive. Depth leads to getting challenged and pushed. It seems that our goal is to avoid that depth so we can stay in neutral for as long as we can for whatever reason. Pursuing righteousness is hard work and can get messy. We enjoy being lazy and clean, but we can’t stay that way.
We tend to try to fake righteousness and live in blatant hypocrisy. Brothers and sisters should know us well enough to get us to pursue righteousness and the hypocrisy that comes from pursuing perfection and being human. We can’t escape being hypocrites (sinners), but we can strive to change. God can change us and he can use our friends to help with it.
They should care so much about you that they refuse to let you allow yourself to stay the same. It’s just like Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” We have gotten to the point where if we are all equally dull we are all equally sharp, because we are afraid of the risks it takes to get sharpened, so we avoid it by avoiding showing people who we really are.
If we really want to change we need to get out of being a “regular” and start being a family member. We need to be open and honest about our faults and be pushed toward Jesus, who can fix them.