First impressions can make or break a business. A messy, disordered front office, a long wait for someone to acknowledge, let alone serve, you, or poorly displayed goods can drive customers away faster than unreasonable prices. A tidy, welcoming space, a gracious hostess or an attractive display of the products on offer can help overcome high, but reasonable prices.
Even if the prices are high, the place a bit untidy, and the goods not shown to their best advantage, a good “Front of House” person can overcome even those unappealing cues. Whether it’s the affable Maitre D’ of a large hotel, the friendly owner/operator of a tiny business or the receptionist at a busy office, the first person to make contact with the customer can make a bad day better and a good day great. And they can make all the difference in the way that customer perceives their whole experience with that business.
In the churches I’ve dealt with, the “Front of House” person is referred to as a “Greeter”. Greeters are, as the title implies, folks who greet the people coming to worship. It’s their job to make regulars feel right at home and to help new folks know they are welcome, appreciated and able to sit anywhere they like. It is a simple job, but it’s crucial in making the whole worship experience a blessing to everyone who comes, whether it’s a vacationer wandering through town or one of the stalwart pillars of the church who hasn’t missed a Sunday in decades.
Worship once a week, however, is only one aspect of our faith lives. Following Jesus isn’t only something we do Sunday mornings for an hour or when we volunteer to help at the church dinner for the homeless. Following and serving Jesus is a full-time job. Thankfully, because Jesus commands us to love one another, it’s a wonderful job that, if we do it well, makes our world a better place.
There is a catch, however, to being a follower and servant of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t really have a storefront or office. Churches are buildings devoted to His service, but they’re not the main location from which Jesus works. Jesus works through us, wherever we may be. We are the practical side of His love and everything He offers to the world. That means we’re not just His living storefronts, we’re also His Front of House people!
First impressions can make or break a business, or the way someone views Jesus. We are His Front of House personnel, and often the first, or maybe even the only, contact some folks have with Him. When someone meets you, what impression of Jesus will they get? It’s my prayer, fellow Front of House person, that their first, and lasting, impression, will be of someone that loves and cares for them, whoever they may be.