Last night, Julie, Joshua and I decided it was a great night to go out to eat! Who DOESN'T like that? So off we go to a Mexican restaurant - a part of a chain we've enjoyed before. We even found a front-row parking spot! On a Friday evening! How about that! Sadly, that was as good as it got.
I let Julie out to go get us in line. When Joshua and I joined her a few minutes later, she greeted me with "The hostess will be right back - and I don't like her." My gentle and gracious wife isn't often like that. She likes everyone! We stood there - no joke - at least five minutes with literally no waiters or hostess in sight. At 6:00 PM on a Friday. I thought I was on a funny video show - "how will people react when there's no one to help them!" Hahahahaha.
Finally, a new hostess shows up. She's just as surly as the one before. She leaves too. We're at the head of the line which has grown behind us now. The first surly one came back with the second surly one. "We're short staff tonight so you'll have to take a booth." For my long legs, that's a challenge, but okay. They took us to a freshly cleaned table that was literally soaking wet. We wiped it down so WE didn't get that wet. A waiter passed but didn't speak. Another couple came in and were seated. They got waited on. We didn't. After 10 minutes of sitting there alone, we got up and left before we were even greeted by a wait staff. Wow. They think they're in the food business. No. I submit that they are indeed NOT in the food business. They're in the PEOPLE business as are most of us.
Our experience there made me think of a book I encountered. "The $6000 egg." (http://www.simpletruths.com/inspirational-books/6000-dollar-egg.html). The essence of the book is the same as our experience. Author Todd Duncan had a similar experience and reminds us we're about people! Don't allow your organism to forget why you exist! It happens to restaurants but it also happens to churches. In the push and pull of life every day, we miss the opportunity to be about our mission - to serve people! At FBC, we're definitely not in the religious business - we're in the people business. The two are definitely not the same.