The Wake Up Call

  • Friday, August 26, 2011

  • “We had ignored, or just plain failed to notice, shortcomings.”

    Luckily we were able to snag a tall table and two stools in the rear of the busiest Starbucks we have ever seen. Its 80-plus seating options, plus every table on their sidewalk patio (Linda refers to that area as “camping out”) was full. Just as quickly as someone would vacate their seat, multiple individuals began maneuvering to take their place.

    iPads in front of us and our favorite iced coffee drinks in hand (not a good combination…liquids and electronics), Linda and I settled in for some relaxation and observation. My summer-time diversion had included the reading of Howard Schultz’s Onward, the painfully transparent CEO’s narrative of the remarkable turnaround of the Starbuck’s corporation. The once incredibly healthy and rapidly growing international corporation suddenly became aware that their one time success story had reversed into--what appeared to be--a disastrous and unstoppable slide.
    ·      “Obsessed with growth, we took our eye off operations and became distracted from the core of our business.”
    ·      “We had to correct those behaviors and return to higher standards.”
    ·      “We are in the business of exceeding expectations. That means we have to admit it when we are not as good as we think we should be.”
    ·      “We had ignored, or just plain failed to notice, shortcomings.”

    As I read through Schultz’s account of the journey through a most successful turnaround, I was also reading and meditating upon Paul’s turnaround exhortation to the church in Corinth. And at the same time the words of Christ echoed hauntingly in my mind: “But I have this against you--that you have left your first love. REMEMBER therefore from where you have fallen, and REPENT and DO the deeds you did at first…” Revelation 2:4-5

    It was late July and we were vacationing in one of our favorite cities. Seated at our tall table, we were enjoying observing our granddaughter Anna-Marie (the only Starbucks barista that really mattered to us) as she participated in the fruit of one of the great turnaround stories of corporate America. Schultz’s strategies had obviously worked. Not a seat was vacant…and from early morning until late night closing, the line entering the door of this Gold Coast Rush Street coffee shop never ceased!

    “We had ignored, or just plain failed to notice, shortcomings.”

    First Corinthians, the wakeup call to our church. We begin hearing it together this Sunday.

    See you Sunday, Church!

    Pastor Tom

    PS: Don’t forget Faith Chapel, serving those who serve, begins this week at 9:00 a.m. Check us out!


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