Religion & Liberty Online

Why coffee tasting matters to God

Does the work of a coffee buyer have an impact that stretches on into eternity? Does coffee tasting matter to God?

In a new video from Chapel Hill Bible Church, coffee taster and buyer Jeff McArthur shares how he came to see the deeper meaning of his work, both in the day-to-day trades and exchanges with his customers and community and in the relational ripple effects that reach on into the broader economic order.

“I feel like sometimes God has us in roles for reasons that we don’t immediately see,” McArthur says. “We’re helping to impact who goes into the café in the morning to get their coffee, but we’re also impacting the lives of those producing partners of ours as well.”

McArthur, who serves as Head Roaster for Counter Culture Coffee, outlines a range of areas in which simple, mundane tasks or responsibilities yield tremendous fruit, both material and spiritual.

Through tasting and buying coffee from producers around the country and world, McArthur participates in the “great and mysterious collaboration” of global trade. In that exchange, he finds new collaborative partnerships, new relationships, and new levels of quality and excellence for his customers. In turn, like much of our work, McArthur connects gift-givers with gift-receivers, meeting needs and bringing joy to others while weaving new creative channels along the way.

At personal level, that service is not only a transformative act of neighbor-love, but a transcendent act of worship to the Lord. In his own spiritual and character development, McArthur notes how the work challenges him toward honesty, transparency, and relational integrity. Further, in the circles he moves, whether among clients, customers, or coworkers, he finds room to foster additional relationships. “My job matters because I’m in community with others,” he says.

Coffee taster, Jeff McArthur“Work is not something we just tack on to God’s calling for our lives,” the video concludes, “something which sometimes gets in the way of the real work of God’s people. It is a central part of worshiping God and lovingly serving our neighbor.”

Joseph Sunde

Joseph Sunde's work has appeared in venues such as the Foundation for Economic Education, First Things, The Christian Post, The Stream, Intellectual Takeout, Patheos, LifeSiteNews, The City, Charisma News, The Green Room, Juicy Ecumenism, Ethika Politika, Made to Flourish, and the Center for Faith and Work, as well as on PowerBlog. He resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and four children.