Two days ago I read a blog that captured my heart because it speaks to what I want First Free to become as a church. The blog was written by James Emery White, the pastor of Meckenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. White begins with the question ‘Have you been to Disney World?’
Some 20 million people attended Magic Kingdom alone in 2015. That is only
one out of four theme parks, so around 80 million people have been to Disney
World. What captured my interest more than how many people have been to
Disney World, was the key to Disney World’s success. It isn’t money,
technology or the wow-factor of the rides. The most frequently stated
reason for guests returning is the cast – the employees.
Jeff James, vice president of the Disney Institute says, “200 million
attractions won’t be fun if the cast member at the front is less than
The people at the Disney Institute spell out their entire approach to quality
customer service in the book Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer
Service. They claim, “Quality service means exceeding your guests’
expectations by paying attention to every detail of the delivery of your
products and services.” They have a saying, ‘Everything Speaks’. Every
detail from doorknobs to the dining room sends a message to our guests.
White then adds this thought: If only the church could be more like Disney
World. Not in terms of existing for mere entertainment and not in terms
of a vision or providing ‘happiness.’ No, the church is much more than that.
We should ‘be like Disney World’ in the sense that our efforts to reach others
is done with excellence so that it makes them want to return.
Where our ‘cast members,’ our regular attenders, are marked by friendliness and
courtesy. Where ‘everything speaks’ from easy access to all floors to
well-groomed facilities (inside and out.) That is what we are working for with
The Church Appeal campaign.
God deserves our very best and we honor Him when we give Him our best. We do
not want outdated carpet, dirty unpainted walls, smelly bathrooms, or any
doorknob to speak against the message we are trying to convey. We want
everything to communicate ‘be our guest.’
When it comes to serving guests, opening the front door and our interactions
with guests should mirror our message and purpose. We should not only be like
Disney, but put Disney to shame.
Let’s adapt the motto ‘Be Our Guest’ and let’s say it as well as Disney does.
What can you do to make our guests want to return?
P.S. If you were God, would you have a ‘Hell’ in your plan? Would you send
someone there? If God is a God of love, why is there a Hell? Join me this
Sunday at 9:15 and 11:00 AM as we look to the Bible for answers.