I have some favorite eateries:
- Rosa's Cafe
- Cracker Barrel
- Cici's Pizza
- Spring Creek
There's other regular stops, but I visit these establishments often. Why? Consistent quality. Relative low cost. Cleanliness (for the most part). And, especially, service with a smile. Most of these restaurants excel at customer service (there are exceptions, but true as a general rule).
My travels also put me together with many congregations of Christians. I meet churches of all sizes. I meet churches that are growing. I meet churches that are struggling. A common factor in churches that are doing well? You might say, service with a smile.
Growing churches are friendly churches. They are churches that care about people: churches that love being together, and churches that go out of their way to make visitors and newcomers welcome.
Sometimes, congregations fall for the notion that church growth is primarily a matter of big and fancy facilities, or polished and well-educated preachers, or a plethora of programs and offerings. These can be important contributors to growth, but the first spark, I believe, is the people-friendly quotient. After all, the example of the of greatest people-loving person should inspire us!