I drove to a local sandwich shop to purchase dinner. A mom and her child were being helped in front of me. A worker came toward me, so I began to place my order. He stopped me, saying he was still helping the previous family. Fair enough. I was happy to wait. The worker motioned to his co-worker, who was alone at the register doing some busy work, to come over and take my order. She told him him no. He got mad and told her to come over. She shook her head no and picked up the phone. I became uncomfortable, as did the family in front of me. The two workers exchanged dirty looks. I continued to wait, a bit bemused. Then it occurred to me. They do not want my continued business, as indicated by their behavior. I left and went to a nearby competitor who quickly filled my order and sent me on my way, a satisfied customer. Granted, I had wanted a sandwich, but ended up with a bento rice and chicken bowl. But at least I went away feeling that the shop which filled my order actually was pleased to do so.
It begs the question. How do our relationships with ministry colleagues at the church translate to visitors or regulars? Is there unresolved conflict? What messages do we send by virtue of our behavior, publicly and privately? Are there any issues which might be causing people to have legitimate reasons to begin looking elsewhere for a place to worship? When we receive feedback from people, do we honestly consider the degree to which it might be valid?
It’s something to think about. What are your thoughts?