I’m not exactly sure where this came from, but every time we go out to eat, my five year old son now wants to see the bathroom and check whether it is a “fancy bathroom.” Much to my embarrassment, he will be in the stall saying, “Daddy, this isn’t a fancy bathroom, is it?” to the chuckles of others in the room.
My theory is that it began last Easter when we ate at the Red Mountain Grill in Dillon, Colorado because when we visited the rest room there, he was truly impressed! That was indeed a fancy bathroom! And I believe it has been since then, that he has been commenting on the “fanciness” of restrooms. We’ll be in a very nice restaurant, but upon visiting the restroom, if it is lame or boring or dirty or junky, suddenly the restaurant is no longer “fancy” any more. We’ve been to some pretty nice places that Luke was pretty impressed with…. until he got to the restroom, and then he announced, “This restaurant isn’t fancy at all… it’s a fake.” It almost seems like his trip to the bathroom is just to investigate the “fanciness,” as a few times, after going in and checking it out, he’s no longer needed to “go” after commenting on the “fanciness” (or lack there of) of the facilities!
It got me thinking about our ministries. We can put on a pretty good front to impress visitors and try to make things look good and welcoming and “kid friendly” – but how far are we willing to go? How deep are we willing to go? How thorough are we willing to be? Or is it just a facade? Are we fancy or “fake?” If a restroom is gross and unkempt, what does that communicate to a guest? How valued do they feel at that point?
Once there are real “needs” that aren’t met, doesn’t the beautiful front we put on break down and aren’t people disappointed? In your ministry, when they see behind the scenes do they see that there really isn’t much there? Do they see cheap tile and a dirty suspended ceilings with cracks and doors that won’t even latch and towel holders that are empty and sinks that desperately need cleaning? And I’m not talking only literally here. Don’t miss the analogy to other needs.
When it comes to our ministry, it’s not only the fancy kids church room that counts… it may be the bathroom that leaves a lasting impression.
Just something to consider from my five year old.