Our society is getting faster. And faster. And faster. And odds are that you know it, too, because you’ve tried these things or even expect these services.
Walmart has rolled out Pickup services at over 500 of their stores. This allows users to choose all of their groceries online and then pick them up at their local Walmart making the time you spend in-store non-existent and much more flexible in the privacy of your own home. For moms at home with multiple kids, this is a dream come true, as it minimizes the insanity of corralling your minions amongst aisles of a million distractions. Instead, an employee simply brings what you already ordered straight out to your car–no unbuckling the kids required.
Now though, Walmart is test-driving a new kiosk that employees will fill with your order, waiting for you to come pick it up. There’s no interaction with humans necessary at all.
I remember the first time that self-checkout started rolling out into grocery stores. It seemed like a win for the store. It only takes 1 employee to watch over 6-10 checkout stands. And it seemed like a win for me. Now there are more empty places to check out from, which means getting out of there faster! But the more I think about how it compared to days gone by when the grocery clerk knew your name, it seems that we are losing a lot from the automation of things.
And because the sense of belonging and being known is so core to us, the church has more of an opportunity than ever before to meet the real needs of people.
You see, many things in our society can and will be automated, but relationships will always remain an organic, messy topic that we have to invest in over and over again. Proverbs 19:22 says, “What a person desires is unfailing love.” And while that can only fully be found in God, the church is the expression of God’s unfailing love at work in this world.
The need for people to experience real love is greater than ever. The answer is God through us.
As you consider you and your greeting team’s perspective each weekend consider the following:
- You have to start with what’s expected.
People come to church expecting a friendly face and a secure kids’ ministry. Never forget about the simple things! No matter how many resources, volunteers, or services you have, you can smile, create a clean environment, and make sure kids are having fun. Start there, and lead your team to take ownership of these areas.
- You have to go beyond what’s expected.
One thing that’s always bugged me is when people who don’t know Jesus end up being more loving than Christians. We know the Author of joy and hope. We have nothing to be afraid of in this world. We have a God who’s given us everything we need to live for Him. Why do we end up doing things halfway? If Jesus were consulting with you directly on your kids ministry, what’s the first thing He would tell you to change? (Spoiler alert: The Spirit’s a pretty good on-demand consultant from what I hear)
Take an inventory this week to share with your team:
- What are the things your team is doing well to meet peoples’ expectations?
- What are the things your team can do better to exceed peoples’ expectations?
- What’s one practical step that everyone on your team can take to move things forward?
As long as our world continues to be automated, the relationships we form in our churches are going to be more and more vitally important than ever before. Your kids ministry can be a conduit for people to experience more than they ever thought. May your ministry be an unfiltered display of God’s reckless love.