Coffee and Leadership

Coffee and leadership go hand in hand. Sometimes, the best leadership advice that I could give you would be to drink a cup of coffee. I don’t know if there are any leadership books out there that revolve around coffee but I firmly believe that I could be the first to write an entire leadership book based on the principles on coffee.  I’m what you would call a coffee aficionado or some would harshly label me a coffee snob.

I am “that guy” who refuses to drink Dunkin Donuts, Folgers, or Maxwell House type coffees made with low quality poorly roasted coffee beans.  I know that the majority of people out there drink McDonald’s coffee as their main source of Heaven’s Nectar (coffee) but that doesn’t mean that it’s “good” coffee.  I am also “that guy” who once answered a Starbucks’ customer’s question because the employee didn’t know the answer themselves.  The fact is that in my spare time I like to experiment with coffee brewing, coffee blends, and other such coffee related things.  However, for the sake of this post, I want to talk about what making a high quality pot of French Press coffee and leadership have in common.

Most people who really love and take the time to appreciate coffee would tell you that there is nothing like a pot of French Press coffee.  The next time you go into Starbucks or your favorite local shop and have time to sit and enjoy a cup splurge and buy a pot of french press.  If you’ve never had it, but you love coffee, this cup will rock your world.  However, french press take more time, effort, and investment than a simple drip coffee maker.  While the coffee quality is much greater, the investment for your yield is also much greater.  In the same manner people who want to be really successful in their ministry and life value leadership.  However, building leaders who are worth having takings time and investment.  In order to make a really good pot of french press you have to invest in the right things, and our leaders are much the same way.

1) The Right Equipment
–You can’t make french press coffee without a French Press.  I guess you could try to make French Press in your drip coffee pot, but that will end up a mess and a failure.  Your basis for leadership should always be God’s word.  Before you can lead people you have to allow God to lead you.  You can lead under your own power for a while but at one time or another, your power WILL FAIL.  Strive to be able to tell your leaders, just like Paul did to, “follow me as I follow Christ.

2) The Right Beans — Having good quality coffee beans is critical to a good cup of coffee.  The difference between Folgers and 100% Kona Coffee is in the beans.  Kona coffee is only found in one region of the world, Hawaii.  The cost of Kona is much higher because it’s more rare, but the flavor that these beans have is unbelievable.  Kona coffee is so smooth, so rich, and so full.  It is like getting a McDonald’s cheeseburger or eating a Filet Mignon steak, there is no comparison!  The right people are critical to your ministry!  You have to put the right people in leadership and great leadership is rare.  There are a lot of people out there who can do the job, but great leaders are hard to find.  When you find the right people snatch them up and train them up.

3)The Right Grind —  In order to brew a french press, your beans have to be ground coarsely.  The reason here is simple.  If you have finely ground beans then when you press the filter down, you are going to have a lot of leftover grounds in your cup of coffee, and nobody likes to chew their coffee (Except maybe Turkish people.  Turkish coffee has lots of grounds in the coffee).  What I mean here is that you need people who have the right skill set for your ministry.  Finely ground coffee is great for espresso, but not for French Press.  In much the same way, someone may be great in children’s ministry, but that doesn’t mean they can work with the youth.  When you are doing ministry with a purpose, you see your leadership voids, and seek to fill them with people who fit the right skill set.

4) The Right Time — Everything in ministry takes time.  Sermons take time to plan, trust takes time to build, and a vision takes time to establish.  The ideal amount of time for a French Press is between 4 and 5 minutes.  If you steep it much less that 4 minutes you will have weak coffee and more than 5 results in strong coffee.  Now some people may life their coffee on one end or the other of the spectrum and that is fine because just as each of our ministries look different, everyone likes their coffee differently.  Jesus took his first year and a half of his adult ministry to invest in his disciples before they ever began to do ministry.  Take the time to invest in your leaders and build the vision and trust that you need in order to be successful over the long haul rather than settling for short-term gains.

The reason I love French Press so much, is because it brings out all the flavors that coffee has to offer.  Many times we miss the subtleties of coffee because we guzzle it by the pot rather than taking time to note the hints of chocolate or citrus that the blend has to offer.  In order to extract the most out of your leaders you have to take time and make sure you have the right elements in place.



About onebeatblog

Our purpose is to equip, empower, and encourage those involved in student ministry!

Posted on April 11, 2012, in Leadership and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Grace Dependent and commented:
    Finally a post on leadership that puts it in caffeinated terms!! As a lover of coffee, and a pastor in church leadership, I get what this post is all about. I know you’ll enjoy it too. First, grab a good cup of jo’ and settle in for a good read.

  2. Great post! I love coffee, I am in leadership – finally a post that helps me in both! ha! This was a good, creative read. Thanks!

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