A few weeks ago, a dear senior adult friend of mine told me about an experience she had at Home Depot recently. She went into the store a bit overwhelmed with what she needed done when an employee noticed her being in distress (she said she just started crying). This employee proceeded to ask her what she needed done, direct her to what she needed, drive the supplies to her house, make 3 trips back to Home Depot to get all the right pieces and parts, work on the projects for her, and then asked if there were other areas in her home needing attention. When she took out her wallet to pay the Home Depot employee, he refused the money and said, “The company wants me to do these things.”
You know what she said next? “I’ll never shop at Lowe’s again.”
Now, I don’t think that was a rip on Lowe’s . . . it was a praise of Home Depot. It was her way of saying she was ‘wowed’ by her experience. That’s service. Sheer customer service. A man who was looking out for a senior adult lady needing help and then going the extra mile to make sure she was taken care of. Kind of makes me want to only shop there too.
In fact, it makes me wonder if people are usually ‘wowed’ by their experience at church? Could the church learn something from Home Depot? Home Depot had everything she ‘needed’ to get her projects done. All the tools. All the parts. All the equipment. Everything was right there for the purchasing. But what she really NEEDED was someone to take a little time, care for HER, and help her, personally. When THAT happened, everything changed.
I wonder if I have become guilty of working at getting all the right ‘trappings’ of a church in order in effort to have the right ‘look’ in place for the right ‘experience,’ all the while forgetting that ministry is really about, well, people. Perhaps people are not wowed when they come to church because it’s like every other merchandise place they walk in every week: they have it ‘all’ except the main thing: LOVE. That’s really what our ‘Company’ wants us to do, right?
I think the apostle Paul said something about that, didn’t he? If we don’t have love for one another . . . (see 1 Cor. 13).