Tag Archives: Laodicea

Taste Test (DEMO)


Teens, Adults


10 minutes

This demonstration uses a fake coffee taste test (between Nescafe and Kopi Luak) to make the point that expectations are higher for our customers when we ask them to invest more.  This can be used to talk about meeting customer expectations.



  • Matthew 21:18-20 (Jesus’ disappointment with the fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit in season)
  • John 2:6-10 (The head of ceremonies’ delight at the unexpected surprise of the best wine served last.)
  • Revelation 3:15-16 (Jesus’ disappointment with the church of Laodicea for being lukewarm)



  • Two cups (optional – one ordinary and one elegant)
  • Two spoons (optional – one plastic and one nicer)
  • Hot water (possibly in a pitcher or carafe)
  • Instant coffee (enough for two cups)
  • Copy paper (one sheet, cut in half)
  • Marker
  • Table
  • Optional – other ways to make a distinction between the two cups of coffee (i.e., a doily or handkerchief, a mint or chocolate, etc.)


  • Label one half-sheet of paper, “Nescafe.”
  • Label the other half-sheet of paper, “Kopi Luak.”
  • Put the same instant coffee in each of the cups.
  • Prepare your hot water so that it will be ready (and still hot when you do the demo).
  • Set your table with the cups of coffee, and label each with one of the two signs.
  • Decorate the table however you like to make a distinction between the two cups of coffee.



Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “I would like to do a taste test, and I need a volunteer who knows the difference between a regular cup of coffee and an exceptional cup of coffee.”  (Ask a volunteer to come to the front, and then direct your questions to him or her.)
  • “Have you ever heard of a type of coffee called ‘Kopi Luak?’”  (Acknowledge response.  Whether or not the volunteer is familiar with the coffee, you will need to explain for the audience.)
  • “Kopi Luak is a coffee that originates from Indonesia.”
  • “It is said by some that it is the best coffee in the world.”
  • “Kopi Luak means ‘coffee Luak.’”
  • “A luak (pictured above) is a type of cat that lives in Indonesia and eats a large amount of coffee beans.”
  • “After the cat digests the coffee beans and passes them as waste, workers harvest the beans for the Kopi Luak coffee.”  (Ask your volunteer is he/she still wants to be your volunteer for this taste test.  Keep it light, but find another volunteer if this one no longer wants to participate.)
  • “There is something about the acids in the digestive system of the cat that make the coffee beans especially good and flavorful.”
  • “As you can imagine, you have to pay a high price for drinking coffee that has been through a cat’s digestive system!”
  • “A single, small cup of Kopi Luak coffee often sells for over $10 USD.”
  • “I would like to see if this famous coffee is as good as they say, so I’ve brought some in for this taste test.”  (Pour the hot water, and stir your two cups of coffee.)
  • “On the left, I have a normal cup of Nescafe.”
  • “On the right, I have a cup of Kopi Luak.” (Now, address the volunteer again.)
  • “Would you please take a sip of each cup of coffee and let us know what you think of the difference?”  (Have the volunteer describe the difference.  There is a potential here that the volunteer may think there is a difference in taste because you have built up the ‘Kopi Luak’ coffee so much.  If so, try not to embarrass him/her by pointing out that both cups are really just Nescafe.  Focus more on whether or not the volunteer thinks the difference is really worth the difference in price.)
  • “How much would you be willing to pay for the cup of coffee on the left?”  (Allow volunteer to respond.)
  • “And how much would you be willing to pay for a cup of the Kopi Luak?” (Allow volunteer to respond.  Hopefully, the difference in what the volunteer is willing to pay is not as dramatic as the price difference you described.)
  • “It doesn’t taste like the difference between a $1 and a $10 cup of coffee, does it?”
  • “When you pay $10 for a cup of coffee, you expect something spectacular and life-changing!”
  • “It’s disappointing when something is built up and doesn’t deliver on the promises made about it.”
  • “But what if I told you that I was playing a bit of a trick and that both coffee cups have nothing more than Nescafe in them?”  (Acknowledge volunteer’s response, and keep it light to prevent embarrassing him or her.  Then thank the volunteer and let him/her take a seat.)
  • “It’s even worse, isn’t it, when I promise something so different and remarkable but really just repackage the same old, ordinary stuff?”
  • “It’s even more disappointing than if I had told you from the beginning that they were the same.”
  • “There is a lesson in this about how we deal with our customers.”
  • “It’s much better to under-promise and over-deliver than to over-promise and under-deliver.”  (If you want to go deeper with this lesson, have the participants read through the three Scriptures at the top of this lesson and discuss the Debrief Questions below.)


Debrief Questions

  1. Why was Jesus so upset in the first two Scriptures?
  2. Why was the master of the banquet so delighted?
  3. How does this apply to how we deal with our customers?
  4. What should we strive to do?

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Filed under Customer Service, Expectations, Revelation, Service

SWOT Analysis of the 7 Churches of Revelation (GAME)



15 minutes



This game helps participants practice using the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis tool by applying it to Scriptures from the book of Revelation.



  • Print outs of the worksheet (one per team) “SWOT Analysis of the 7 Churches of Revelation – Worksheet” and of the Answer Key (one for the facilitator of “SWOT Analysis of the 7 Churches of Revelation – Answer Key”).  Both files are available on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at http://www.teachingthem.com.
  • Prizes for winners (optional)



  • Print out the worksheet and the answer key.
  • Practice the script.



Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Let’s do a little competition to practice using the SWOT Analysis Tool.”
  • (If you haven’t taught about SWOT yet, you might use these teaching points.)
  • “SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.”
    • “You use SWOT Analysis to evaluate a team, business, project or even yourself.”
    • “You do it by brainstorming all your strengths, then all your weaknesses, then all your opportunities (positive things you could take advantage of in the future) and finally, all your threats (negative things you want to prepare for or avoid in the future).”
    • “Strengths and Weaknesses are in the present.”
    • “Opportunities and Threats are in the future.”
    • “After you’ve completed the brainstorm, you would create an action plan to take advantage of your Strengths and Opportunities and protect against your Weaknesses and Threats.”
  • “I’m about to hand out a worksheet that has Scriptures from Revelation 2-3 about the 7 Churches mentioned there.”
  • “From what Jesus says about them, it’s pretty easy to do a SWOT Analysis.”
  • “In your teams, you will read what Jesus said about the church and mark it as a Strength, a Weakness, an Opportunity or a Threat.”
  • “I’ll give you ten minutes to complete the worksheet, and then I’ll share the answers – even if you aren’t done yet.”
  • “The team with the most right answers wins!”  (Run the activity and award prizes to the winning team(s) if you want.)

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Filed under Game, Revelation

7 Churches of Revelation (LESSON)


Youth and adults


45-60 minutes

This lesson uses John’s letter to seven churches in Asia Minor (a.k.a. the book of Revelation) to take a look at the churches of the current day and then to focus on an evaluation of our own church and even our own hearts.  The debrief is intended to lead individuals toward repentance.



  • Revelation 2-3


  • Printed copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (can be found on the Lesson and Materials Download page at www.teachingthem.com)
  • Flipchart with paper
  • Markers
  • Bible


  • Print copies of “7 Churches of Revelation – Chart” (one per participant).
  • Write the debrief questions and the individual reflection steps on a flipchart, but conceal them until it’s time to do the debrief. (Alternatively, you could put these on a PowerPoint slide and  project it.)
  • Practice the script.



Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

o  “In the book of Revelation in the Bible, John writes a message (really a letter) that comes directly from Jesus to seven churches in Asia Minor (current-day Turkey).”

o  “The seven churches are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”

o  “Chapters 2 and 3 are specifically addressed to each of the seven churches one-by-one.”

o  “In these two chapters, Jesus gives an evaluation to the churches and calls several of them to repentance.”

o  “Bible scholars typically believe that there are three ways of understanding these two chapters.”

o  “The first is historical.  These churches actually existed and had the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the letter.”

o  “The second is prophetic.  These churches can also represent ages in church history from the beginning of the Church in the book of Acts to the present day.”

o  “The third way to understand the descriptions of these churches is as types of different churches that typically all exist at any given time somewhere around the world.”

o  “This third way of understanding is our focus today.”

o  “We are going to use the descriptions of the seven churches to learn more about what can happen to any church depending on how it treats the claims, commands and the Person of Christ.”

o   “The church at Ephesus had lost its passion.”

o   “The church at Smyrna was under persecution but keeping their faith.”

o   “The church at Pergamum was following worldly ways and false teachers.”

o   “The church at Thyatira was compromising and tolerating false prophets and immorality related to sex, money and power.”

o   “The church of Sardis was spiritually dead.”

o   “The church at Philadelphia was small but spiritually alive.”

o   “The church at Laodicea was so rich that they had stopped depending on God for anything.”

o  “In your table groups, I would like to you to read through Revelation, chapters 2 and 3.  You can do it out loud or individually.”  (Allow time (5-10 min) for reading through the two chapters.  As they do, pass out the handouts of the charts to each table – one per participant.)

o  “I have passed out to you a chart that summarizes the descriptions of each of the churches.”

o  “It tells what their Strengths and Weaknesses are from Jesus’ perspective.”

o  “Then, it tells about Jesus’ Instruction, Warning and Promise to each church.”

o  “Read through this chart individually, and underline or highlight anything you want to remember.”

o  “Then, when everyone at the table is done reading, work through the questions on the flip chart at the front of the room.”  (Reveal the debrief questions.  Allow 15-20 minutes for discussion and individual reflection.  Then do a large group debrief to capture what they learned.)

o  “I want to give you an opportunity now to think about your own church and about your own spiritual condition.”

o  “Take some time in quiet, individual reflect to work through these steps.”  (Show the flipchart with the Individual Reflection steps, and allow 10-15 minutes for personal reflection.  Afterward, give an opportunity for anyone who feels especially led to share something that God put on their heart.)

o  “When a church or an individual has unconfessed sin in their life, it drives a wedge between them and God.”

o  “It doesn’t mean that they lose their ‘lampstand’ or their personal salvation, but it puts distance in the relationship.”

o  “In order to restore the relationship, the individuals in the church or the individual for himself has to confess and repent.”

o  “There is no restoration without repentance.”

Debrief Questions

1.     Do you feel these descriptions match churches that are in existence today?  Why or why not?

2.     Give some examples of churches today or from what you know of past churches or ages within the church.

3.     How do you know that these churches are like the ones described in Revelation?

4.     What do you think needs to be done for these churches (at least the ones that need to repent) to become the types of churches God wants them to be?

5.     What do you think will happen if they don’t repent?


Individual Reflection

1.     Which of the seven churches is most like your church?

2.     Why do you think that is?

3.     What needs to be done?

4.     Which of the seven churches is most like your heart?

5.     Why do you think that is?

6.     What needs to be done?

7.     Take some time now to talk to God in prayer.

a.     Confess any sins of your church or in your personal life that the Holy Spirit has brought to your attention.

b.     Repent of these sins, and commit to making changes that will please the Lord.

c.     Write down your commitments and put them someplace you will remember to look at them often.


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Filed under Church, Evaluation, John the Beloved, Lesson, Revelation