June 7, 2012
I have a whole new appreciation for the work you put into church this week as I showed up for my first-ever jury duty experience.
How could jury duty give me a new appreciation for church you might say? Well, we can often be told that we are not doing enough to make church a positive experience for people, but when I compare how hard we work to make church a good experience for people in light of my jury duty experience, I discovered a new gratitude for all of you who serve at church in some capacity. Let me run a few comparisons for you.
Church: Though our parking is limited, we work hard to provide a well-maintained lot and work hard to provide a shuttle bus to drop you at the front door, and give you a gift if you ride the shuttle. We also have security walking the lot to protect your vehicle.
Courthouse: "There is not much parking, here's a free pass if you can find a spot, and if you park in the wrong place you could get towed." Good luck.
Church: The entrance to the facility on Sunday is easy to find with warm people posted at the doors.
Courthouse: When you find the entrance, stern security guards do their jobs by giving orders about emptying your pockets, taking off your belt, making you turn on your phone to make sure it’s not a bomb, and scanning your bag.
Church: We do our best to decorate, clean and paint regularly to provide a warm, inviting environment, as well as investing in a variety of light packages to reflect positively on your experience.
Courthouse: Not sure what the color is - something plain and cold.
Church: We endeavor to make sure there is ample seating by providing two services and thinking about a third. We also post people around the room to guide and direct so people can feel secure.
Courthouse: On Monday there were not enough seats, some without a direct view of the speaker for orientation, and metal folding chairs being some of the only options.
Church: We designed clean (Did I say clean?) restrooms with attention to details like fixtures, stalls and toilets, and decor.
Courthouse: Don't get me started.
I know, I know! These are very different things, the church and the courthouse, and I realize that there may not be much more they can do to improve the courthouse experience. But when I think that most everything happens at the church by volunteers who are voluntarily giving of their time, and that everyone there came of their own freewill, I have a new appreciation for the effort that goes into all that the church seeks to do to introduce people to Jesus Christ.