My wife and I went to the new IHOP in town recently. It has only been open for a week. If you have ever been to a newly opened restaurant, you will recognize this scene. There were tons of servers hovering around us. There were Managers and imported Trainers scurrying around. There were Corporate Bosses mingling about. All of the above mentioned were making sure that everything in the place was perfect for our visit.
Since they were not very busy this particular day, we probably got a little extra attention. But I was able to make a few observations that I think churches should consider.
The servers all put on their best smile. They were very attentive to us and our needs and did their best to take care of everything. Not only that, I was really impressed with the team work I saw. Our server took our order and brought our drinks but two different servers brought our food and got me some hot syrup. We were not “their” table and I dare say they did not share the tip, yet they assisted their team mate anyway.
I was especially intrigued by one of the imported Trainers. He is one of these guys who travels to different restaurant openings and gets all of the staff ready to run the new restaurant. These guys usally arrive weeks prior to the opening and stay for a week or two after the opening. Here’s what I noticed about this guy. He would randomly walk up to a server and ask them questions regarding their training or the restaurant’s policies and procedures. Things like, “What are the three types of guests we have?” Or, “What should you do when…?” He would then either correct the server’s response or congratulate them for knowing the answer. But no matter what, He would smile, pat them on the back, and encourage them to keep serving.
One more thing. The place was spotless. I know it had only been open a week but still. No stuff on the floor. No chairs out of place. Not even anything sticky on the chairs or tables. There’s an IHOP first!
What if we, as Churches and as Christians, applied these some kind of principles to the way we live our life or conduct our services on the weekend? What difference would it make?
What if you who are leaders in your work place applied this some principles to the people you lead? What difference would it make?
I can’t help but believe that if we, as Christian leaders and as churches in general, began to smile more, train more effectively, encourage more, and be more attentive to our guests and facilities, we would see a greater impact on our communities. If we quit being so “territorial” in our ministries and communities, we would see more people attracted to Jesus. People want to be loved, cared for, and noticed. Little things mean a lot. If the people at IHOP have that much respect for their organization, why should we have any less for our churches and, more importantly, our Savior?
I want to encourage you to get involved in your church and serve. Show God’s love in your work place and home. And take time to encourage others along the way.