USA Today has a great article about the recent Rick Warren Starbucks cup story, in addition to several other mainstream companies that incorporate some sort of God-factor into their marketing and business model.
Warren’s quote on the Starbucks cup comes from his best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, and certainly doesn’t hold back:
You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He wanted you alive and created you for a purpose. Focusing on yourself will never reveal your real purpose. You were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life will never make sense. Only in God do we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance and our destiny.
What would it look like if your church facilitated a conversation among business leaders and owners, and thought of ways to incorporate God-oriented messages in their marketing?
Not every approach may be as overt as Warren’s quote, but even subtle hints at God can be powerful.
To take it a level further, it’d be interesting to see a partnership of sorts between a church and local businesses. What if the Starbucks locations near Rick Warren’s church also gave the name and address of the church under Warren’s name? Local businesses could support their local churches, and vice-versa.
Of course here it gets sticky as the anti-church marketers cry foul. Trading advertising on a coffee cup for advertising from the pulpit is pretty foul.
But it seems like there could be ways to appropriately do it. Maybe your church agrees to use coffee from a local coffeeshop and display a small sign that says so. Maybe your church office uses a printer exclusively in exchange for discounts.
However it might work, it seems like there are possibilities for church and business to work together. Too often we have the separation mindset that demands that church and business, like church and state, must be separated. Unfortunately, our lives aren’t so cleanly divided. We go to church on Sunday morning and then go out to eat Sunday afternoon. Why can’t the two work together in some way in order to bring more people to Christ?