The Disneyland of Fast Food
I have a good friend who often refers to Chick-Fil-A as the Disneyland of fast food. I completely agree. One of the greatest things about Chick-Fil-A is the way their employees talk to you. This is not done by accident. I have another friend who used to work for Chick-Fil-A training their employees on how to talk to customers. They put a lot of attention and time into teaching social skills to their recent hires and it makes a huge difference. When you call a Chick-Fil-A it sounds like the employee is actually glad you called and is happy to help. The phone call always ends with Chick-Fil-A's classic, "It's my pleasure to serve you." Now contrast that to any other fast food chain phone experience. I always get the feeling that I am interrupting them and I would do the world a favor if I would just hang up.
There is a lot we can learn from Chick-Fil-A. Let me start by asking you what you picture God's response is when you pray. Is God frantically answering your prayer call, eager to get through the prayer so He can get back to bigger things? How we picture God when we pray reveals a lot about what we believe about God. Did you know God loves to listen to you pray? The Psalmist describes God as living or sitting on our praise to Him (Psalm 22.3). He even tells us not to quit praying (Luke 18, 1 Thess. 5.17). The truth is we are blessed to have a God who is pleased to be with us!
Let's take this a step further. We have been given this blessing of a joyful and patient God to be with. Are we representing these qualities of God to others who don't know Him? When we get those opportunities to welcome people into a conversation about God, are we being a good host? These conversations may happen at our churches, they may happen in our homes or coffee shops. They may even surprise us inside a conversation that we thought was about something not focused on God at all! It's in these moments that we get a privilege to reflect the joy and patience of God. I must confess that sometimes I try to rush through them because I feel uncomfortable.
Like Chick-Fil-A, perhaps we shouldn't assume that we have the skills we need to pray well or the skills we need to share with others what God has done for us. Perhaps we should pursue some basic training and practice. Add this and some Chick-Fil-A sauce and the church could be irresistible!