Thursday, June 9, 2016

Be Our Guest

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 pleasant.”

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 We do not want outdated carpet, dirty unpainted walls, smelly bathrooms, or any doorknob to speak against the message we are trying to convey.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.

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