Monday, February 23, 2009

Church Marketing Sucks: Another Lesson from Starbucks

I found this blog entry at Church Marketing sucks great, because I ponder if the notion of Third Place is dead.  If it is, then what does that mean for church strategy. I like Starbucks, because I like the staff that I have met over the last 18 months.


Quoted from

Church Marketing Sucks: Another Lesson from Starbucks

February 18, 2009

Another Lesson from Starbucks

(Filed under: Brand & Identity)

Starbucks is often used as an example within the world of church marketing. They have an experience, they knew how to tell their story.

Yes, I said "knew how to tell their story."

I've had numerous conversations with church leaders about Starbucks' concept of a "third place" and how the church could harness that feeling. We have work, we have home ... Starbucks was that third place, a getaway, a place to relax, etc. etc.

Then they installed a drive-thru. So much for a third place, it was just a stop on the way to either home or work. They've put another nail in the coffin now with instant coffee. Doesn't get any less third place than that.

Starbucks no longer has a story to tell. Their story is now the same as McDonald's and Folgers.

I've seen the same thing in the local church. They start off with a core calling, know who they are and what God has created them to do. Then they either get bored or see the church down the road try something new and they change their story.

Excellence as church marketers is all about being great storytellers. Know your story and stick with it. Don't let things--even seemingly good things--distract you from your unique story. When you start to change your story, often you don't end up with something new, you end up without a story to tell.

Let someone else sell instant coffee or add a drive thru. Put your efforts into creating a more excellent third place, whatever that unique component happens to be for your church.

Posted by Michael Buckingham

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

National Pastor's Convention

Last week, I spent three days with some good friends from seminary at National Pastor's Convention. One of the interesting things about NPC to me was that very few people talked to each other. In a great chance to network, it seemed that people were not that friendly outside of their circle of folk. I did not see it much. As I was sitting on the end, I reached out a couple of times to introduce myself but not much was said by the others.

It could be me, but I felt that the communication came from stage to the seats. Then not much else unless it was within your insulated group. I had an insulated group.

I wonder if Pastor's are that isolated and in an event like that unwilling to break down barriers? There is risk, do I measure up to who I am talking? What lies are we going to swap? etc.

Next year if I go, I will want to spend my timing breaking the silence even if I go with the posse.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Why this blog?

Why have been writing this blog?

I think one can tell why I have not been writing the blog.  I don't know why I am supposed to be writing this blog.  What is my focus?  In the beginning, it was to tell my spiritual story and I could not find a method that I wanted to discuss.  Lately it has been about my life.

The goal of this blog....

To bring together folks who are seriously thinking about spirituality, community, and the world?  How do we live missionally?  How do experience the sacred daily?  How do we live relationally?

So, I restart again.  Come and join me.