Chicken Fights

By Nate Powell
As many of you know, I love Chick-Fil-A.  It is a great restaurant.  It is owned by Christian people.  They have delicious food.  They have great service.  I have a great experience every time I go there.
Lately, though, I’ve been a bit conflicted.  My wife and I started eating at another chicken restaurant …. Raising Cane’s.  This restaurant also makes delicious chicken fingers and makes a mean glass of sweet tea.  All the way around, these 2 restaurants have my chicken needs covered for the summer.
So my wife and I were on a date yesterday and decided to eat at Raising Cane’s before going to a movie.  We walked in the door, and the first words I hear out of the cashier’s mouth are “Oh no you don’t!”  I look around to see if she is talking about someone else, but she is indeed looking at me.  I start to think that maybe she is not a Cardinals fan, as I am wearing my Cardinals hat.  But she says to me again, “What are you doing in here with that stuff on?”  I look down, only to realize …. I’m wearing my Chick-Fil-A shirt.
I looked up to her and weakly offered, “Oops!  Guess I didn’t plan ahead.”  She just shook her head and glared at me.  My wife and I placed our order and went to pay.  Then I remembered what I really needed to tell the cashier to help her feel better:  “Well, it’s Sunday you know, and Chick-Fil-A was closed, so I had to come here to get my chicken.”  She just glared at me again and shook her head as she gave me my receipt.  We had an enjoyable meal, but it was an awkward exchange, nonetheless.
My experience the other day reminded me of the church and how we treat others sometimes.  Sometimes we judge people by their appearance or their life baggage, and we tend to send them the signals that they don’t belong here.  People are just hungry for Jesus.  Are we willing to gladly pass the bread of life to them, or will we do it grudgingly?  Are we glad to meet the new people in church, or do we avoid them so we can get out the door?  Will our interactions help people in our community to come to our church or help the new people return to our church?
In the coming weeks, you will be seeing more of a push to have people sign up to be greeters and to be a “welcoming committee” of sorts.  I hope that you will do all that you can roll out the welcome mat and leave a good impression!