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Intersecting Life and Church at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse



Last week my wife and I celebrated 18 years of marriage with a dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

I absolutely love Ruth's Chris! The menu is great, the food is incredible and the service is warm, personable and second to none. I could write this post about learning how to do "guest services" in a church from the "business side" of Ruth's Chris, but I want to take a different approach...

While waiting on our order to arrive a group of 3 business men in suits arrived and were seated - not too uncommon, this particular location is in a white-collar business district. Shortly thereafter, a young lady arrived dressed in a business suit - of course, the gentlemen all stood to welcome her and wait until she was seated.

What happened next absolutely amazed me and could easily go unnoticed...

About 10 minutes later (our food had arrived and we were well on our way to filet-bliss) another gentleman arrived. He was NOT in a business suit - simply a pair of slacks and nice polo. Of course the entire party stood to welcome him, waited for him to be seated (including the lady). Then, after he was seated first, the lady sat and ALL THREE MEN took their coats off before sitting.

You may ask, "why does that matter?"

Glad you did...

Now, I don't know what these people did for a living...I don't know of the last arrival served in some sort of supervisory role...I don't know if they were attorneys, investors, or what...I do know this...

The three men:
  1. Were gentlemen when the lady arrived by preferring her above themselves...
  2. Changed the atmosphere of the meeting by taking it to a more "casual" atmosphere by simply removing their coats when the last attendee arrived...
  3. Were perceptive enough to think about the comfort level of the last guest
  4. Sought to remove barriers between themselves and their guests
So, what can church leaders learn from this interaction:
  1. Perceptiveness & Awareness - the 3 gentlemen displayed a keen awareness of their guests
  2. How to change and adapt based on the crowd - the entire mood and atmosphere of the dining party changed with the arrival of each guest. Not to placate or lower some sort of standard, but to make others embrace the company of each person. After some time, the lady removed her business coat. The dining party had shifted from a very cordial (almost stuffy) mood to a more relaxed, fun mood.
  3. How to prefer others - thinking of others first is not natural to people - it MUST be worked on and developed.
Have you ever seen situations like this? What if, instead of wearing a suit each week in church, we showed up in khakis and polos? or, jeans and a tshirt? In what other ways can we adapt, change, and prefer others that visit our churches? (obviously, without removing the message)

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Wow. Great post!