First impressions are lasting impressions. We understand this when we’re dating. But this principle applies throughout your lifetime. Years ago I took my staff to Disneyland. But, it wasn’t just to have a fun time. I wanted my team to deeply understand “customer service” in a ministry setting. By the way, how we treat people matters in any setting. Disney was built on customer service. Walt Disney once said, “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”
Several books have been written explaining their focused attention to treating customers right. “Disney U” and “Be Our Guest” are two of the best. They both give the history and importance of caring for people well. They were required reading before we went to Disneyland. Once we arrived, we spent an entire day with a Disney “Imagineer”. They are the creative people who design and create the theme parks and oversee all the creative aspects of the business. We heard him tell us all day long that “First impressions are lasting impressions.” He wanted us to know that they pour a considerable amount of money and training so that each employee remembers that phrase.
As our culture changes, without compromising the message of the gospel, how do we carry out our mission and at the same time make the greatest first impressions possible in our consumer-driven society? It really comes down to one word. We’re talking about excellence. 1 Corinthians 10:31 reminds all of us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Our challenge today is simple, strive to be excellent in all you do. You’ll make a great first and last impression.