Thursday, January 14, 2010

Same stage...New actors

Sometimes life seems like a stage. One recent performance touched me deeply. Our church partnered with a project in Ethopia called Mossy Foot and more than $38,000 was given towards this cause...but thats just the outward result of the work on the inside of hearts and still... the beat of one heart in particular,grabbed me. I don't know his name...but here's his story.

It was a busy Sunday morning in the lobby, the busiest time actually, in between services, one crowd coming while the first crowd is still lingering. The lobby is full,the guest services desk is bustling, the line in the cafe is backed up, new guests are looking for directions to childrens class rooms, you hear the sounds of so many voices filling the air,folks who know each other catching up with one another, or a mother trying to get all her kids headed to the car. The hungry husband who'd like to get home cuz he's hungry, you get the picture....its busy! Right in the middle of that...I feel a tug on my sleeve,you know that little tug you've felt as a mom when your little one has been trying to get your attention? I turn to see a gentleman probably in his 60's, I recognize immediately that there is something different about him, his speech confirms my guess. In somewhat of a child like manner,he opens the clutch of his hand to reveal five, one dollar bills. "How do I give this to mmm-Mossy Foot? Am I ttt-too late? Cuz, I made a promise..I have to keep my promise." I assured him he was not too late and together we got a tithe envelope, we wrote "Mossy Foot Project" on the envelope and together we walked to the tithe box where he dropped his offering...with child like glee. "I have to keep my promise." and off he went but only until after the end of second service and again in the middle of a busy Sunday morning lobby, he found me. "Can I have a hug? thank you for helping me." Not even conscious of the fact that it was he, who had helped me, he had blessed me! It wasn't the size of his gift or the size of his mind but the size of his heart that reminded me of the story Jesus once told, you know the one. Life really is a stage and there are still amazing scenes being played out in everyday life!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Great Spirit of Candor

I know there is controversy whenever "the church" looks at, weighs, considers or even adopts practices or principles that appear to serve a "consumer" experience. But, can it be about reaching some level of excellence because we really just want people to meet Jesus and we genuinely care about their encounter with His church? Recently I read "The Starbucks Experience" and "The New Gold Standard." by Joseph Michelli In his book "The New Gold Standard", Michelli shares some of his insights in to the legendary customer experience of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. He links one of the marks of their success to a "great spirit of candor" among its leadership and staff. I recently appreciated a dose of candor from one of our own team mates Chris Shoemaker, I needed the shake up he provided with his honest in put on things. I most adored him because he said,"Kim, I can tell you this because I know you really do love us!" Does a spirit of candor mark us? Is there a New Gold Standard we should be reaching for? Are we responsible for the "experience" in our church? Oh, and I'm still waiting for the Ritz-Carlton experience...someday!
Two great books I recommend them both!

Book review: The New Gold Standard

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