Experience can make the difference in someone’s life. If you have a bad or good experience, you remember it, and it colours your view of that place or event for years to come.
We had an interesting experience with two restaurants when I took my wife Ali out for her birthday a couple of years ago. The first restaurant managed to mess up their service quite badly, so that we ended up being served food that had been handled by another customer, and was not very hot, and we were then lied to by the waitress about the freshness of the replacement food (which was just the original food but less warm!). The manager apologised but that was it – no compensation, no courtesy.
A bad experience.
The second restaurant made an error in our order, and when we pointed it out they apologised and offered us free dessert and coffee – on the whole a good experience. Both could have been bad experiences, but the second restaurant turned it around with their care and generosity.
People’s experiences of church can be similar – something bad happens, no one seems to care, people leave and don’t go anywhere else; or they find somewhere that makes them feel welcome and part of the family, and they also don’t go anywhere else!
What we do as part of a church meeting plays a huge part in the overall experience that people – especially new and unchurched people – have when they come to a Family Church congregation, and we must never forget that. We have the opportunity each week to be a part of making a huge difference in the lives of people who need help, who need hope, who need healing, who need friendship.
Our own experience of church is so much better when we help make someone else’s experience great.