We have a ridiculously, horrible-looking restaurant near our house that we drove by for over a year, until someone at church (that we fully trusted) told us that the restaurant was known for incredible pizza and wings.
She saw me turn my nose up and simply said, “don’t knock it for its outside, you’ll love their food”.
A few weeks later I took my family there. We drove in and my kids said “Are you kidding?” and I looked at my wife’s look of horror. We walked in and I wasn’t impressed with the inside either. It was cold, the chairs and tables desperately needed replacing. It reminded me of a takeout dive that I used to go to several decades ago when I was young. And these people chose to not update anything. Ever.
We got shoddy looking menus and the waitress wasn’t all that friendly. We waited quite awhile for our food.
Then it arrived. It was spectacular. Hot, fresh, tasty and amazing.
I’ve become an evangelist for them. And I get the same looks. The “are you kidding me?” reactions. But the restaurant continues to be packed every weekend. It endures.
It’s a shame that they don’t update though. It would be so much easier to tell people about their culinary wizardry.
But it teaches a basic principle: People will endure a lot to get a great product.
However, especially in the church, we have to be aware of the things that push people away from entering. It’s time to do everything right. Or at least try! The Bible says to “compel people to come in” — not repel people. Become known for an amazing place that points to our amazing Savior. And I’ll enjoy my wings while I watch the game…