I want a Trader Joe’s church

May 22, 2012

Trader Joe’s gets it.

They are a relatively small, neighborhood grocery store. They pay their employees well, treat their customers awesome, and sell food that is both healthy and unique.

Without trying to compete with the big guys, they’ve managed to create a cult like following. Their consumers are often transformed into Trader Joe’s evangelists.

There are a few things about Trader Joe’s that speak to me about the type of Church that I want to pastor.

I want a Trader Joe’s church:

  1. Good food without the bad stuff. Over processed religious ritual is bad for your health. Too many additives can lead to heart failure. Too many additives produce Christians heavy with flesh and impede spiritual progress. The Church is best when it simply gives people Jesus.
  2. Fresh unique offerings that you can’t find at your average store. What can your Church do better than a thousand others? Do it. It may not be what the name brand pastors are doing, but it’s you. It’s what God called you to be. That’s relevance.
  3. No gimmicks, sales, etc. Trader Joe’s is Trader Joe’s. Be Real. Offer Jesus. He doesn’t need to be dressed up or down. Don’t be awesome on Easter and subpar every other day of the year.
  4. Awesome culture. Friendly Staff. Inviting environment. It’s obvious the staff loves their store. The employees are the brand. They enjoy their job.
  5. Hand painted signs. Their creativity is part of their culture. Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse. God created the world. The church should reflect this creativity in their culture.
  6. If you’re working on the floor with a unique talent – it will be utilized. If your staff has special gifting, then utilize them. Don’t search for positions; find gifted people.
  7. The managers are on the floor creating Wow. Culture comes from the top. It’s not unusual to see a manager with a mop in their hand, and a smile on their face. Everybody is responsible for giving shoppers an experience that surpasses their expectations.
  8. Why is everyone so happy and positive here? Do they put something in the water? One of the questions they get asked most often. The Queen of Sheba was very much impacted by the tangible joy of Solomon’s staff. Smile.