So I went to a car dealership the other day. If you are like me, you’ve already got that sinking feeling in your stomach. Pushy sales guy, offers you can’t refused, the ol’ bait and switch. We got out of our car and were instantly hooked at the hip with what would now be my “best friend” for the next five hours. We test drove the vehicle, we looked at all the options, I even hooked up my phone through the car’s bluetooth connectivity to make a call (that was kind of cool). We than went inside to “talk numbers”. It’s interesting that my “best friend” now had to make periodic runs to see if he can make my deal work out for me. And finally five hours later, tired, emotionally and physically drained we drove off in a new car.
I can’t help but wonder what do people feel when they come to a church for the first time? Do they have that same sinking feeling in their stomach when they pull up? Over-the-top and obnoxious greeters, sales pitch they aren’t interested in, products they don’t need or care to have. What about our church services? Are they the ol’ bait and switch? Do we deliver what we promise? Do people leave later tired, emotionally and physically drained … or does something supernatural take place? They receive more than they came in expecting, the gift was free, the experience was life transforming. The emotional and physical drain they came in with is gone, in its place is a new excitement and outlook on life. All of a sudden, God has shown up on the scene and answered what they had been longing for, but not knowing how to put into words.
So what do churches and car dealerships have in common? I guess it depends on where you go.