Everyone is a VIP
One of the biggest trademarks of Walt Disney World is the fact that everyone is treated as a VIP. Cast members (employees), regardless of what level position they hold, are on a first-name basis with each other. Although there is a hierarchy in management, it is hard to figure out, as everyone has some say. Similarly, every guest who enters the park is made to feel welcome and even more, that they are a VIP. When Carin and I took Kylie, she was constantly called “Princess” wherever we went, and boys are called “Prince.” Cast members make it an effort to learn your name and conversate using your name. If something goes wrong, they go out of the way to make sure it is made up for – that you are pleased and satisfied despite the mishap. Disney truly is, at least in my opinion, the Customer Service King.
Shouldn’t that be how the Church is? Shouldn’t everyone who walks through the doors of a church feel like a VIP? Shouldn’t we go out of the way to share God’s love with one another? Shouldn’t we go all out to spread God’s grace to those who have not yet experienced it? I think we all would agree that the answers to these questions are a resounding “YES!” And yet, I think far too often we fail at this. In the Book of Hebrews, we are implored to always show mutual love and to never neglect hospitality; for we never know when that stranger may be an angel in disguise. Yes, as the Church, we need to be like Disney and practice radical hospitality by treating everyone like a VIP. For every person in the church and the community has value, and if we remember this truth, we are well on our way to carrying out our common mission – to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (“The Great Commission” – Matthew 28:19, NRSV).