What the Church Could Learn from Chick-Fil-A

I stopped in to get a chicken sandwich the other day and was overwhelmed with the Biblical principles in action that have made this restaurant very successful in a relatively short amount of time. It’s funny (and tragic too) that a fast food chain is doing a better job of applying the Word of God than many churches…

They take a STAND.

I don’t know how you could have missed it – it’s been all over the news… Chick-Fil-A has been labeled homophobic, bigoted, anti-gay, intolerant, etc.  The boycot backfired when their supporters nearly ate every live chicken on the planet!  Needless to say, they didn’t back down!  They did not change their position.  Far too often, churches take stands which they later fall back from.  Let’s not be guilty of waffling (unless it’s fries!) on our position.  I realize that sometimes we change and grow… but we should never give spiritual ground to the world for fear or pressure.  Be bold & strong!

They know HOSPITALITY.

When I walked into Chick-Fil-A, I was immediately greeted with a smile: “Welcome! How may I serve you?” And after I received my food, “Is there anything else I can do for you? Is everything alright?” And when I left, “Have a great day!” They were intentional and purposed to be kind and friendly.

As Christians, we are commanded to be the same way. In fact, we are challenged to be ‘given to hospitality’ (as an alcoholic is given to drinking) and to ‘use hospitality’ (as a mechanic uses his tools) in Romans 12:10,13 and 1 Peter 4:9. Hospitality is so important in the church that its leaders are required to be friendly to strangers (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8).

A simple question: Should anyone be kinder and friendlier than God’s people? Be aware that your lack of kindness might be offensive to the lost and cause others to reject the gospel (2 Cor. 6:3,6).

They do ONE THING & they do it right!

Chick-Fil-A is not the place to go if you’re in the mood for tacos or tofu. They don’t do pork or beef … only chicken. They are consumed by making the best chicken sandwiches, nuggets, and wraps in the industry. They aren’t the cheapest, but they are the best.

Our churches often fall into the trap of trying to be more like Wal-Mart in the appeal to the masses. God has not called us to do so many things. We have one mission: to win precious souls to our Savior!  Reaching people with the powerful gospel, helping people develop a relationship with God, showing others how to know God and love Him more… No matter how you say it, our one mission is a ministry of reconciliation (Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:18-20).  Maybe it’s time our churches backed off from all the fluff and programs that fill our calendars and budgets.  Streamline your ministry to a point – the point of the gospel!

They are FAMILY-FRIENDLY.

I’ve yet to be in a Chick-Fil-A that didn’t have a play-place for the kids (excluding the mall sites). They have a good kids’ menu and a good variety of toys, treats, etc. to keep even the littlest members of my family happy.

Kids can be little nuisances. They’re noisy, they waste supplies, they make messes, they cost money. They don’t tithe, they rarely carry heavy burdens, they are takers instead of givers. This is exactly what Jesus’ own disciples were thinking when they ran the little kids off. Christ scolded them: “Suffer the little children to come unto me…” (Mk. 10:14).

Successful churches make places for young families. Instead of confining the children in nurseries and junior churches, healthy churches facilitate multi-generational worship and education (Titus 2:1-7; Lev. 10:11).

They are good to their workers.

After I placed my order, I asked the girl behind the counter, “You look like you’re having a good time. Do you enjoy working here?” “Yes. This is absolutely the best place I’ve ever worked in my life!” Not only is the atmosphere great, but they pay the employees better than most fast-food chains (and they give benefits, too). Did you know they do not allow just anyone to ‘buy’ a franchise? They only give that opportunity to those within the company. And why are they closed on Sundays? According to their website, “employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so.”

Do the volunteers in your church know how much you appreciate them? Is there any way you can honor those who deserve honor for their service? Do you ever give them time off?  They probably need it!  Servants are the greatest (Matt. 23:11; Col. 4:1).

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4 thoughts on “What the Church Could Learn from Chick-Fil-A

  1. Eric

    Very good points here. I can vouch for the amazing hospitality. My wife and I brought our 1 year old daughter and 2 members of the staff greeted us at the door while another one ran to find a high chair for us. I’ve been to fancy restaurants that weren’t half as attentive. Unfortunately, I could say the same for some churches I’ve attended over the years.

    Reply
  2. Brian Norris

    Haha I’ve even thought about trying to partner with a chick-fil-a chain owner to use his establishments as church meeting locations. I mean hey– they have children’s space, are closed on Sundays, have accessible parking lots, and people know where they are. I dismissed the idea because it would make me too hungry. 🙂

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