Blog/CYM Blog

Getting Dutch Bro-ed

One of my favorite coffee chains is Dutch Bros. The coffee is fantastic, and it’s the only coffee shop I’ve ever been to that makes me want to dance at 6 AM due to their crazy, upbeat music (beware, all you non-morning people). But there is also something very special about their customer service that always hits home for me because it seems oh-so familiar.

Here is an example of my typical encounter with a Dutch Bros. employee (cue the club music).

“Good morning! Welcome to Dutch Bros. How are you doing today?”

“Doing pretty good.”

“Do you have any plans for this weekend?”

“Just hanging out.”

“Nice, what do you like to do when you just hang out?”

“Oh, you know, just spending time with my family, might go for a hike or something.”

“That is awesome! Where are your favorite places to hike?”

Before I know it, not only do I have my nice warm cup of coffee, but there is also a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that this lovely conversation followed a very familiar pattern. That is when it hits me – I got relationally ministered! I looked back at my conversation and realized, “wow this is what the teens I serve must experience.”

Just like we are all trained to do, this employee did not let me get off with the simple replies of “good”, “stuff”, and other generic answers. No, she kept asking leading questions until we were having a genuine conversation. The conversations never seem fake or forced and I also always notice while I am waiting in line that they do remember people’s names and life stories. This is my experience every time I go to Dutch Bros. and I always think that I can learn a thing or two about relational ministry from these employees.

Being on the other side of these conversations not only gives me good insight on a great conversation starter, but it also makes me realize how important relational ministry is. If I feel validated as a human being by being engaged in conversation over a cup of coffee, how much more will our teens feel validated when we reach out to them each and every week? Relational ministry is not just about being in the same space as teens; it is about getting to know them and sharing life with them.

So, this goes out to all of you who avoid the awkward conversations with teenagers – or better yet middle school youth (oh the horror!). I challenge you to not be the bystander or babysitter at an Edge Night or Life Night, or simply show up at a basketball game. Instead, dive into conversations and get to know your teens. Remember their names, remember their stories, and remember them next week.

We all need each other; we all need to be reached out to and shown that someone cares. So take a chance, step outside of your comfort zone and don’t settle for the generic answers.

 

Image via Flickr, CC 2.0, Logo added 

About the Author

Amanda Grubbs

Amanda Grubbs is a graduate from Franciscan University with a degree in Theology and Catechetics with a concentration in Youth Ministry. She serves as the Edge Support Coordinator for Life Teen, and is actively involved at her local parish. She is a Colorado native, happily married, mother, and loves all things fall (which is unfortunate when living in the middle of the desert). You can email her at agrubbs@lifeteen.com or follower her on Twitter @LT_AmandaG.