The Recommendation

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A woman I didn’t even know changed the course of my life today.

Okay, that’s probably overstating things.  Let’s just say she changed the course of my lunch. Staff lunch today was at the Old Mill Tasty Shop in downtown Wichita.  It’s a small soda fountain from back in the 30’s, with a surprisingly tasty menu.

I was heartened to see several vegetarian items on the list, and set my sites on The cheese crisp, which sounded rather nacho-ish.  Our cheerful waitress approached, and I decided to ask her if it was any good.  I’m glad I did.

“It’s small–more of an appetizer,” she waved me off and put an arm around my shoulder. “You really should get the vegetarian burrito.  It’s my favorite, and you’ll love it.”

And I did. I’d give it 4 stars.

Now, before you think I’ve posted my Trip Adviser review on the wrong page, here’s what my waitress got me thinking.  Could I as convincingly offer a recommendation for my church, as she did for that burrito?

I don’t know.  A burrito is an easy sell.  But my church?  I really really like my church, and I really really want new people to come.  But…maybe it’s not for everybody.  Maybe my church’s praise band isn’t contemporary enough.  Maybe the pastor (me) doesn’t preach on enough justice issues…or too many?

Maybe our church only fits for people who are farmers, or in the airplane industry, or school teachers?  Maybe our church doesn’t do enough immersive baptisms, or study enough theology.  Maybe our building feels old to some folks.  Maybe we expect people to do too much.  Or allow others to do very little.

You see?  Whereas my burrito today was a slam dunk recommendation, my church may not be for everybody.  And so my recommendation might be a little halting.  People can hear a hesitation like that and question the sincerity behind it.

May I make a recommendation for all of us Christians longing to connect with people searching for a church home?  I recommend sharing unqualified enthusiasm for your church without having to oversell it, either.

“My Church has helped my children know God, and I’m so proud to watch them grow up. I highly recommend it.”

“My Church has a weekly food ministry, where I’ve learned about serving as a spiritual gift. I highly recommend it.”

“My Church has a small group I’m a part of that studies the scriptures and shares our faith with each other.  I highly recommend it.”

You get the idea.  The waitress didn’t have to tell me everything about that delicious burrito.  I believed in her recommendation because she clearly believed, too

Psalm 34:8a says “Taste and see that the Lord is good”.  Your words, attitudes, and enthusiasm can offer a taste of the kingdom to others.  Remember, you’re not selling your church.  You’re recommending a life in the Spirit, Who is at the very center of it.

I’ve tasted, my friends, and I’ve seen…

And I was filled.


Have a great week,