The disloyalty card

One of the issues plaguing the local tourism industry in the time I’ve been working in Townsville has been convincing people that the best way to grow their individual operation is to grow the pie for their “competitor” at the same time.

It’s as true in coffee as it is in tourism… and it’s probably true in ministry too.

In tourism your goal is to develop first an appreciation of a destination and then compete for the attention of the people who holiday in the region.

In coffee your goal is to develop first an appreciation of great coffee (compared to the average coffee served in the average cafe/diner/McDonalds).

This “disloyalty card” that has been produced by the current World Barista champion is a sensational idea.

The coffee guys are onto something with their focus on cooperation rather than competition. Strong competition and an educated market is a great thing for everybody competing – it’s not great for those left behind with a shoddy product.

The ministry application is probably tangential – but important… obviously there’s a Biblical compulsion to stay with a particular body of Christ (local church) – it’s not a matter of continuous shopping around while you look for the church that best suits you.

Izaac wrote about Godcasting the other day – the act of downloading and listening to sermons from quality preachers.

He envisaged a day where we will be warned off listening to sermons from gifted men by preachers jealous for the admiration of their flocks (or perhaps, more charitably, sensitive to the possibility that listening to exceptional preaching will cause discontent).

I think we should be encouraging Christians to listen to, read, and consume as much great teaching as possible. Chances are that those Christians keen enough to seek out great teaching will be the ones who are keenest to serve their church – rather than critique. And the idea of learning everything from one flawed vessel is scary. I’ll be encouraging everybody who comes to any church I preach at to seek a second opinion on whether my teaching is faithful to scripture. That’s the model we encourage when we’re training preachers and teachers at college isn’t it? Who wants to go to an institution with one lecturer.


Andrew says:

Oh, how I miss Gwylim's Coffee (and didn't realise that the coffee cart was called 'Pitch 42')

Izaac says:

Whoever heard of Christian's using a good thing badly? That's what all humanity does with pretty much all of creation, isn't it? Sadly as a result of listening to too many online sermons I believe at times I have less discernment when outside the spoon feeding of great preachers. It has also caused discontent with the quality of my regular local preaching. I have seen this in many others who listen to many online sermons.

A way forward? Like all good things, they are to be used for good, with a warning against how our sinful hearts can abuse it.

Is discontentment the only danger? It seems to be one of the big ones.

Nathan says:

I don't think the fact that sinful hearts will inevitably abuse something good is a reason to dismiss the good thing (or even necessarily to be wary of it – it's right to be wary of drunkeness, I don't think you need to be wary of alcohol past the fact that it causes drunkeness).

I stand by my statement that those who listen to podcasts are much more likely to be heavily involved in church life and more interested in growing as Christians.