by Mark Waltz, Pastor of Connections and MultiSite

This is an ink pen. Its base is wrapped with a hair tie. Can you see what's bound in the hair tie? Yes. That’s human hair. Hair that was held by the tie before it was wound around this pen. 

Convenient, I suppose. Finished with it in your hair, just wrap it around the pen you’re using until you need it in your hair again. To each his—or her—own. 

Unless the person using the hair tie is a restaurant server and she hands her pen to her customer to sign their bill. 

That customer was me. Convenient for her. Disgusting for me. I dropped—maybe I threw—the pen on the table and asked my wife Laura for hand sanitizer and a pen. Gross.

It’s easy to live in Convenience World. We don’t intend to impede on anyone else. We just don’t think

This was just a pen. But think about the conveniences we hang on to, maybe insist on, without thinking how it impacts someone else. Say—your church guest or your neighbor:

  • It’s convenient to park in the main lot closest to the door. You’re serving after all! And you must be on time (It would have been inconvenient to leave earlier). However that convenient parking spot could have been a guest’s easy-to-find spot.
  • It’s convenient to find my friends and catch up. But if that’s all I do, I miss the opportunity to welcome and engage someone new to our church.
  • It’s convenient to rush out of my neighborhood and just wave to my neighbors. But I may be missing relationship and a chance to communicate care with my time.
  • It’s convenient to ignore the turn signal on the car next to me and not slow down to let the driver in front of me. But it might be a small way to defer, to care, to be second.

How is your convenience creating a not-so-great experience for someone else?

Not everyone can see a hair on a pen and turn it into a great lesson about making your church better. Get more real-world, practical tips and improve the experience of all your guests, from the parking lot to the auditorium. Come to Mark’s First Impressions One-Day Workshop on April 12. You can also sign up for Kem Meyer’s Less Clutter. Less Noise. Workshop or the brand new Kids’ Ministry: From Leading to Legos Workshop with Ted Bryant. Register by March 12 to get the early bird discount for you and your team!