The Power of a Smile

July 5, 2014

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I’ve been traveling in the United States for two weeks with my family. We’ve been to numerous restaurants, hotels, and airports as we hit six states in our first ten days in the country.

I’ve been struck with the radical difference in customer service from various companies and chains.

Southwest Airlines – after flying close to a million miles in my life, I took my first ever flights on Southwest Airlines. The hype is true!  They are friendly, efficient, and fun. While offering less frills than other carriers, the commitment to fun and friendliness has the power to win me over.

Hyatt Hotels – We stayed at two Hyatt Place hotels on our journey. Each time we were greeted repeatedly by the staff. They also put together a really cool room with a sectional couch/ living room corner. I will return to this chain!

Chick-Fil-A – I’ve been here before, but my family had their introduction to the best fast food in America. Courteous staff, quality food, and hand delivered refills will keep you coming back.

Disney –  Disney has corned the market on creating an experience. I was blown away with the well oiled machine the theme parks produce, yet still with incredible care and friendliness.

Of course on our journey, we also experienced many companies who failed in “service with a smile.”

I may be particularly keen on this because it is part of America I miss the most. We really do get customer service.

So how does this relate to grace…..

If these companies can embrace the power of a smile and creating a friendly culture, how is that we as a church fail so often.

More than any company, believers should be able to embrace the power in a gesture or a smile.

We’ve been given so much as a gift, our public presence and “customer service” should be second too none.

Unfortunately, in the works based religions that pass more a lot of modern Christianity, a smile is the last thing on our face.

We are often more concerned with performance and religious rituals. I am sad to say I have been in my fair share of churches I would never want to bring an unbeliever too.

We would do well to learn from the fellow believers at Chick-Fil-A, and even the companies of Hyatt, Disney, and Southwest Airlines.

I know the church is not a consumer product. Far from it.

But what if the church took on Southwest’s slogan. “If it matters to you, it matters to us.” That is servant leadership.

What if on Sunday’s people felt like they were coming to the “friendliest place on Earth”, a la Disney.

Ask yourself this…

Do we reflect the grace of God in a way which is greater than certain companies around us. If not, maybe we should!

 

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Chris

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A missionary teacher for 24 years currently living in South Africa. I am a recovering superhero, daily in need of the grace of God