At one point in my ministry, I ate almost every day at McDonalds for lunch. It was close to the office and it was cheap! Because I ate there so often, I knew many of the people who worked there and would often greet them by name. I also knew a lot of the other regular customers, so conversations were easy to start and enjoyable to engage in. Being a naturally friendly person,
and always on the lookout for opportunities to share my faith, I each day I would speak to many of the people I encounter at McDonalds, both those I knew and those I didn’t.
One day I noticed a new cashier behind the counter. I guessed she was probably just out of high school and honestly, she looked like she needed a friendly face. I greeted her warmly when it was my turn to order. Since she was new, she was struggling to operate the digital register, but I was patient while she got it all sorted out. After taking my order, she asked if I was in “customer service.” I have been asked many things in my life, but until that day, I have never been asked that before. She went on to say that she noticed me greeting people when I came in and that I seemed happy. She assumed that I must be in some line of work related to customer service since I was so friendly.
I explained to her that I came in nearly every day and knew most everyone there. I also was pleased to inform her that I was a pastor and it was my faith that made me so happy. Though I only got to share with her for a minute about my faith, I hope it was enough to make her think about spiritual matters. Sadly, she did not work there long and once she moved on to another job, I lost touch with her.
But it did occur to me later, that in some ways, pastors, and perhaps all Christians, are indeed in “customer service.” We serve our communities in a variety of ways so that we can introduce people to our Boss, Jesus Christ. As we serve, we make genuine friendships and learn to sincerely care about what is going on in our friends’ lives. We do not have a “product” to sell, just an eternity to give away for free. For Christians, this is one of the most important things we do. I hope that I can be even more successful in my “customer service” efforts in the future!
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has served in New England since 1993 as a pastor, author, and denominational leader. He currently serves as the Executive Director of both the Baptist Convention of New England and the Baptist Foundation of New England.