Last week my wife and I got invited to a Premier Night for a new Chick-Fil-A opening up in Hunt Valley, MD. How I got invited is a long story but it had to do with Church at Chipotle…go figure. But nonetheless I was thoroughly impressed with the evenings events. When we approached the restaurant we walked up on a red carpet, were greeted by numerous employees and were seated as if we were at a regular sit down establishment. We were waited upon and given our choice of anything on the menu, completely on the house. They also gave away prizes and I was fortunate to win S. Truett Cathy’s Book – How Did You Do it, Truett?
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It’s a quick read, only 97 pages and large print. The book is a basic rundown of how and why Chick-Fil-A was started. After reading it I realized a lot of the same principles found in Truett’s book are transferable to student ministry, here are a few:
- Courtesy Pays Dividends – Truett describes how important it is that the bathrooms are clean, that there are no lines and that people are greeted with a smile. I found this interesting because recently I feel like the largest criticism about student ministry is how it’s turned into a show and less of a relationship. In retail good customer service will take you so far. It might seem insignificant, but you have to ask yourself, “How well do we treat each and every student that walks in through our doors?”
- Timing and Sacrifice – Just because we have a good idea doesn’t mean it’s the right time to do it. Two things on my heart right now that I know are very difficult to do are college ministry and a helping hurting kids ministry. I just don’t have the staff, resources and ministers to do it. Truett explains that timing is essential and even though we may have big dreams, we don’t need to accomplish them straight away.
- Identifying the Product – We could say the product is Jesus or Salvation but what I got out of this principle was knowing your vision and mission. If we are going in to a Sunday (or whenever you do ministry) just hoping to have fun you living out a mission it just might not be the one you planned on. Truett took time to develop the Chick-Fil-A Sandwich, we need to take the time to develop our mission.
I’ll always talk highly of Chick-Fil-A because on top of good food, and family values, the restraurants purpose includes honoring God. That’s one concept that Truett repeats throughout the book, that the only reason he is successful is because of the hardworking people that surrounded him and the God that created him.