Saturday, February 14, 2009
Starbucks or Waffle House?
Read an interesting article today in Relevant Magazine titled, Starbucks or Waffle House?
A little lengthy...but I thought it was worth a post...Check it out:
Starbucks or Waffle House?-by Courtney Jones
In my Sunday service adventures, I've come across two types of churches: in my mind, I classify them as Starbucks and Waffle House. Starbucks churches are really chic. They've got all new sound equipment, a rockin'band, awesome praise and worship, and relevant teaching. No dress code is required, although most dress for success at this type of church. That may include the latest thrift store find and a new pair of Puma shoes, or it could be as dressy as suits and ties. It seems everyone has a fashion sense.
I love my Starbucks churches. Portrayed on the wall without fail are the words for the music on three huge screens and some nifty graphic background that pertains to the song. They always pass out a really cool, shiny bulletin, which is filled with upcoming mission trips, home groups and fun stuff to do. Some even have coffee bars. The church in itself appeals to all five senses.
Then you've got your Waffle House churches. These are naturally set in the country and often, it takes an hour to get there from any major freeway. Complete with a steeple (I almost forgot what those were!) and pews, you've always got your staple hymnal book to accompany the worship time. This worship time may consist of one piano player and a singer, or maybe just a singer and a tape deck.
The sermon is usually more to the point with the occasional country dialect and straightforward delivery. Someone may even talk about their weekend fishing trip to humor the congregation. There is always an altar call. The preacher will talk until he gets through. What's lunch? This is God's time. When God's ready to let you eat, He will let the preacher know.
I attended a Waffle House church today. You know what? It was humbling. Sometimes you just need the coffee and without all the foam.
I'm not stating that one church is better than the other. Personally, I like my Starbucks church. But, I think it's good to experience a different service every once and a while. I felt like I was in a different country. I was so blessed by the preacher's message. He was so on fire. I was blessed by the people who took turns getting on stage to sing their hearts out to God—and how communal it was; how simple and pure.
I know that God has no preference as long as we are concentrating on Him. We are all His children. I know that the delivery of Gospel has evolved for the upcoming generation, and I believe that's necessary.
It's still coffee. It's still fresh. It's just packaged differently.
I am not ashamed one bit to admit that as a child I grew up in a quote, "Waffle House Church." I am also not ashamed to say that the church we serve at now is very "Starbucks." I grew up in a very tiny town....very country, but it was in this "Waffle House" church that God began a good work within me. I loved the Sunday school teachers who poured their lives into me and the choir who would sing Brooklyn Tabernacle songs as hard as they could. Has God grown me up and changed my view of culture and who He is since this time? Absolutely. Do I love my "Starbucks"? Absolutely. Would I take back any of the people, preaching, and singing from my "Waffle House"? Never.