I recently spent a few hours in a Starbucks in a large town far away from home doing some work for church and enjoying an exquisite Eggnog Latte. As always I positioned myself in a place that allowed me to watch the door. I saw that each and every person who entered immediately scanned the room before taking more than a few steps in. Many times they even stopped all together before entering. At first I thought they were looking for faces they knew, but then I realized that while that might be a part of it, they were really looking for something much more basic. They were looking for a welcome.
So I decided to do what I always do back home in my small town, I just began greeting everyone from my seat. To some I would say hello, to most I just offered a smile. And with the exception of one young man who may have already had too much caffeine, everyone smiled back some even took the time for a kindly good bye gesture upon leaving.
Of course as I thought about this experience I related this to church and business. I believe that we are fundamentally relational creatures we are all looking for a positive connection with others. (Though admittedly we all define positive connection differently.) So what does that mean for our churches and businesses?
1. We must ace hospitality.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers
-Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
We have all heard the old axiom, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” And that is absolutely true. How many restaurants, churches, or businesses do you have filed in your “I’ll never go back there.” file? For many of us most of those places failed to impress us on our first experience. Even if you are blessed enough to get a second chance, a continual lack of hospitality will be the death knell of your organization.