Previously, I wrote about my experiences at hardware stores. As I continued to reflect on my experience, I noticed several parallels between the hardware store experience and the church-going experience.
- People like to be greeted. Something deep in the human psyche makes us long for positive human contact. The best hardware stores and churches are intentional with making people feel special as soon as they walk in the door. It could be as formal as “Welcome! How can we help you today?” to as casual as the hardware store version of “Welcome to Moe’s!” – either way, I know you’re glad I’m here.
- People like to feel like they belong. Though it sounds similar to the first one, this one is a completely different animal. When I go to a hardware store, I sometimes feel very intimidated – like hardware stores are only for the elite DIY crowd, not noobs like me. Words like “rough-in,” “miter,” and “stile” let me know I’m out of my element. So often churches do the same thing – except for the pious crowd. Words like “10/40 Window,” “popcorn prayer,” and “missional” leave me in the dark until they’re explained at least twice.
Part Two coming tomorrow!