The other day, I stopped by a nearby sandwich shop to grab a quick to-go lunch. This particular shop prides itself in preparing food very quickly. Upon completion, the employee handed me my sandwich simply wrapped in paper with a little tape holding it all together. Naturally, I requested a bag for it. As he bagged my meal, the employee remarked, “Everyone asks for a bag but management specifically tells us not to use them.” He then turned to his manager to ask the reason for those instructions. The answer? “Because it takes more time.” The manager’s simplistic response was an incredible example of a common failure in many organizations. By defining customer service entirely by efficiency, the shop may actually detract from its experience.
In every organization, including churches, it is easy to allow efficiency to take highest priority. With limited finances, staff, volunteers, and time, it is natural to work hard to make the most of every resource available. And understandably so! We should be great stewards of the things God has provided us. .