Don't think of this book as one of the "Gospel According to...." series. You know, Gospel According to The Simpsons, The Sopranos, Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc... This book is really not about Starbucks. Other than a Venti-cup of bad coffee analogies and random coffee facts, it's not about Starbucks. It's about the Christian life. Sweet says that like Starbucks runs its biz, we need to live our life on an EPIC Scale: Experience, Participation, Image Rich, and Connection.
As I mentioned SoulTsunami is one of my favorite books. And while I loved SoulTsunami, The Gospel According to Starbucks started with a bang, but didn't quite connect with me in the second half. It was good Sweet. BUT it wasn't where I was at. I read the first half of the book in about two hours, but struggled to get through the rest.
Here's what I got from the book (unless referenced, all quotes are direct from Leonard Sweet (with page references):
* "Intellectual arguments over doctrine and theology are fine for divinity school, but they lose impact at the level of daily life experience. Starbucks knows that people live for engagement, connection, symbols and meaningful experiences... Life at it's very best is a passionate experience, not a doctoral dissertation. (5)
* "Jesus never traveled more than eighty miles from his boyhood home, but no one would accuse him of living on a small scale." (19)
* Ever heard of a Kopi Luwak Coffee Bean? They sell it at $600 per pound. Want to know why that's significant? Read what wikipedia says about the "cup of crap, yes crap" you'll drink. (29)
* Following Kopi, it's amazing how God continues to use trash. "Doves" are nothing more than a trashy pigeon. Moses was a murderer. David an adulterer. Esther a harem girl. Ruth an idol worshipper. (27-30)
* "The gospel was not meant to be comfortable or safe. Jesus does not invite lukewarm faith, the brand practiced by the Church of Laodicea. Instead, God promised to spit the lukewarm out of God's mouth." (33)
* "In spite of being engineered to sell coffee, Starucks does everything corporately possible not to create a preplanned compelling experience for the customers, but to help customers create experiences for themselves." (34)
* "Authenticity is not about being more relevant but about being more Jesus. Do you speak with a Jesus voice? Do you see with Jesus eyes? Do you listen with Jesus ears? Do you touch with a Jesus touch?" (49)
* "The cross is beautiful because it reveals love, the substance that bonds between beauty, truth and goodness together." (57)
* "It makes me nauseatingly sick that half a dozen megachurches in USAmerica cast the molds for what goes on the the majority of Christian churches around the world. It's not their fault. It's ours." (60)
* "When focus groups are now being used at all, they are designing products, not evaluating and judging products already on the market." (70)
* "Missional means: to participate in the mission of Jesus in the world, to incarnate in the experience of our lives and our communities the good news of God's love for the world. We must become a GOOD (Get Out Of Doors) Church." (82)
* "Jesus' goal was not that everyone understand him, but that everyone experience him. In fact, Jesus didn't expect everyone to get his revolutionary message. He did invite everyone, however, to hear God's story, to become part of God's story, and to learn about others who joined God's story or were seeking God's presence." (92)
* "Technology isolates us at te same time it connects us, thereby stimulating us in a hunger for the very thing it deprives us of." (143)