I never tip for drip coffee. What does a barista do to earn a tip for that? So I was confronted by one our members recently who work at Victrolas. He was confronted by one of the other baristas who received a 3 cent tip from me which was me just rounding up to the nearest dollar on my credit card slip. Yeah, yeah, yeah - I know - why bother. So Tim (the barista who attends our church) says to me: "They know you are my pastor. It's kinda embarrassing." I explained to Tim how for me to tip for a cup of coffee at Vics would make drip coffee twice the cost of me purchasing coffee at Starbucks. "That's ridiculous!" I told him. He then went on to explain how local shops like Victrola would not be in existence if it tried to compete for the same customers like myself - "takers" - consumers who want to be served rather than serve. But hold on. Am I not here to be served? The point is, Victrola, like other independent coffee shops, depend on folks who are willing sacrifice what they would not have to sacrifice if they didn't have to. I was told in seminary that a church needs to model itself after Starbucks. You need to "market" God and the church in a way that cuts out the competition for people hearts. Essentially, make God cheap. Make church "worth it" for the people.
Something happens when we replace God as our object of worship. Rather than a life consumed by the awe of God and service to Him, we become consumers of God's things and his service to us. And given the fact that our hearts have been made for eternity, our appetite is insatiable. Sure, that may be good for our economy, but this "consumer" mentality flies in the face of the One who came "not to be served, but to serve." And it flies in the face of what Paul describes as the motivation for why we gather as a church.