Outback and Churchgoers

We had dinner at Outback for Mom’s birthday. Can you believe she’s turned…., I guess I better not go there. Just joking Mom! After getting settled and ordering dinner, we engaged our waitress in conversation for a moment. She was nice, bubbly, and a gracious host. I listened as she talked. It all started with Mom’s reference to having her as a server a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon after church. She actually remembered Mom and her party. She even complemented Mom’s group. Our server then went on to say that she didn’t normally work on Sundays and didn’t want to work them either. She stated that the church crowd was the most difficult to serve and work with of any of the crowds during the week. My heart sank. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She even stated that she had an expectation that if you’d been to church you ought to act like you’d been to church. Now there is a truism.

Let me set the record before someone misconstrues this conversation. I’m not going to pounce on the after church lunch crowd at Outback. The point I want to make is the value of our witness throughout the day and even when we don’t feel like it. People are watching us all the time. They know you go to church and they know about your claim to faith. You can’t hide it; they’re watching you. Here’s a case in point. Jolanta and I attended the BGCT Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas a few weeks ago. After the evening session we went back to the hotel, threw on some jeans and headed a couple of blocks to Starbucks. I didn’t dress, look, smell or sound like a minister – I was just me. Jolanta and I were alone for the first time that day in Fort Worth and escaped for a latte. No sooner had the lattes been paid for when the barista asked me if I was a minister. Can you believe that? I didn’t go into Starbucks with my pastor attitude and attire and yet she could still tell. People are watching, listening, observing, to see if this Jesus stuff is real.

Sometimes these little conversations can be a wakeup call.