I’ve been thinking about the two extremes that often come up when you talk about the churches “serving” our communities. One extreme says “we should just preach the Gospel, forget all that feeding, clothing, serving stuff…church is about ‘saving souls'”. The other extreme is the folks that say “Church should be ALL about serving others. Jesus healed the sick and fed the Hungry…that should be the main mission of the church also. Forget preaching the Gospel, it just offends people.”
I think as a church we can learn a lot from gas station restrooms. Corporations like Sheetz and Rutters spend MILLIONS upgrading, cleaning and maintaining their restrooms. One of the Rutters I just “visited” had more marble in their restroom than the state capital…and it was cleaner also :-) Why would corporations devote so many resources to a service they don’t charge for? Why not just have “employee only” restrooms and save the cash?
You and I both know why profit- minded corporations would seemingly “waste” so much money. A clean restroom…meeting a basic need of a traveler…translates into “sales”. Even some of us overcome by coffee who stop ONLY for the free restroom stick around to buy more coffee…or come back to purchase things later BECAUSE of the great “facilities”. Meeting peoples basic needs gives us PERMISSION to tell them about our other “services”.
At actionchurch our mission is to Love God, Love People, and Take action. We get that from Jesus…with a little inspiration from gas station restrooms.