A little over a week ago, Ginny, Riley and I went out for lunch on my day off. On the way into the restaurant, there was a sign announcing the soup of the day. Once at our table, there was another sign stating what the soup of the day was. Then when the waitress came by, she reminded us of the soup of the day. If that wasn’t enough, the menu advertised the soup of the day AND stated that ant “extra” item could be substituted for a slight charge.

OK. Now I have my gameplan. Prime rib sandwich, black eyed peas w/ rice, and the soup of the day.

Waitress: “Oh, I can’t substitute the soup for one of your sides.”

What? The most advertised thing in your restaurant and you won’t sell it to me? I’m willing to pay the difference for it and I can’t? Is Jerry Seinfeld around somewhere?

A few thoughts came to mind:

  1. She better not charge me for Ginny’s drink since my meal comes with one and I ordered water. (She didn’t.)
  2. What would Seth Godin think about this.
  3. How many Sundays do churches do this exact same thing to people searching for Christ? (I’ll elaborate.)

Every Sunday churches are open with the supposed purpose of connecting people with Jesus Christ. Most of the time, that person has to make an initial investment to show up, uninvited, to a strange place filled with strange people. Then that person has to walk down front with every eye on him and speak to the guy up front with the microphone while verse four sits on repeat. He jumps through all these uncomfortable hoops to get the advertised special, only to be told:

“Clean up your addiction to _____  first.”

“Get married or move out because you’re living in sin.”

“You’re parked in my spot.”

“We have a standard for attire here.”

“God hates homosexuals.”

I could go on, but I won’t. Why is it the one thing churches are supposed to lift up, we hide behind red tape? Why is the most important thing added as a footnote to the service, with conditions that are impossible for outsiders to attain? Why is the advertised item not able to be had?

I’m often guilty of this. What about you?