I had a revelation the other day. It dawned on me that in the church, particularly on Sunday mornings, we are all on the hospitality team. We have people each week who are assigned to specific hospitality roles; greeters, ushers, lobby host, baristas, etc. But it struck me that the work of helping guests to feel loved, welcomed and appreciated falls on all of us. We are all hospitality.
I was reading a book recently about the Ritz-Carlton hotel chain. They are renowned for their excellence in hospitality. One of the expectations of every person who works for the hotel is that as they approach a guest, perhaps in a hallway or the lobby, they are expected to look up, make eye contact, smile and greet the guest. And when they say everyone, they mean everyone, from the hotel manager to the housekeeper to the maintenance worker.
Everyone in the hotel is expected to help make guests feel warmly welcomed and cared for. What’s more, if they come upon a guest who needs assistance in any way, regardless of their role on the staff, they are expected to stop and help them, or contact someone who can.
Now allow me to contrast that with an experience I had this week. Nicole and I went out to a restaurant for lunch. When we walked in, the person behind the hostess counter did not look up. She appeared to be deeply engrossed in some important paperwork (or perhaps her social media status). We are regulars, so we just walked by and took our seats. On the way out, same deal. Head down, focused on paperwork. No eye contact. No greeting.
Because we go here fairly regularly for lunch, it didn’t particularly phase me. But I got thinking, if this was my first time there, how might the lack of welcome impact my experience? On the flip side, if I was fortunate enough to be a guest in a Ritz-Carlton, how might that intentional hospitality practiced by every member of the staff positively impact my experience? How eager would I be to return?
Now the Ritz-Carlton is a pretty fancy hotel. But it’s not actually the marble floors and the chandeliers that make the experience extraordinary. It’s the way every person helps make each guest feel welcomed and cared about. I believe we can do that in the church. Here at Rock Church I believe every one of us is a part of the hospitality team. When we have guests, each of us can be an important part of helping them feel loved and welcomed.
When you come to church this Sunday, remind yourself that you are a part of the hospitality team. By your smile and your warm welcome, you can help someone feel loved and cared for. It may just make the difference in whether they connect; not only to the church, but to Jesus.
A couple of other notes: For Our Community Day of Serving is just over two weeks away and we need you! If you haven’t done so already, please go out and sign up to be a part of one of our 34 project teams. It is going to be an awesome day. You will not want to miss it. Go to www.forourcommunity.org to sign up.
MEN: Don’t miss First Monday coming up on May 6th. Our guest speaker will be our own Todd “T” Bannister. He has an amazing testimony that you will not want to miss!