Posted by: everynation | April 13, 2007

Discipleship and Starbucks

by Joey Bonifacio

joey.jpgA few years ago while visiting Washington DC my host brought me to a Starbucks Coffee shop on a wintry Saturday morning. What I witnessed that day was something I would never forget. There was an initial line of 8 or 10 people when we got there. Then cars started showing up one after the other. In time, there were at least 20 people in line.

It got me thinking, why would people inconvenience themselves to get dressed, transport themselves, park, line up, wait and spend more money for something they can conveniently do in the comfort of their own kitchens for less money? What was making them come back for more? The obvious answer = the coffee.

Starbucks’ secret was they did not focus on building their brand. From its inception to its growing years Starbucks did not advertise and even today they do so minimally. They busied themselves making the best coffee.

Sometimes churches are too busy building their brands rather than building their product. Others have relied on the brand – “The Church”, yet Jesus said – “I will build my church….” Matthew 16:18. Instead, He challenges us to go and make disciples.

Churches need to stop focusing on building their brands instead they need to busy themselves with making the best product. Our product is people and their lives – lives that are full of light, joy, love, spirit, kindness, grace and victory. When they taste and see they will come back for more. The word of mouth about the church will be – “their coffee is good and I want more.” This is our product – changed lives.

Making good coffee is achieved through focus. Jesus was right then and now about what our true focus should be – go and make disciples.

Joey Bonifacio — aka “The Wizard of Blog” — is the senior pastor of VCF-Fort Bonifacio in Manila, Philippine and the author of Discipleship is Relationship, In Good Company, and Joey’s Prayer Site.)



  1. Yes, Brother Joey Bonifacio, I do agree with you. If we spend more time doing what He asked us to do – “making disciples”- and making it the core thing, witnessing (“Word of mouth” like you called it, becomes spontaneous and natural, which will sure attract souls to Him. For instance, reading what you said about Starbucks just stirred up in me a desire to stop by one of their outlets and know what their coffee tastes like; smile. By that, I mean, when the testimonies of changed lives of people we know are rehearsed to us as a result of having been discipled, we also want to experience that life transformation.

    Francis Chinaka, Illinois, USA

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