Why not? The church could actually benefit a lot. Not from taking golf lessons, but by learning some simple lessons from the game of golf.
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of being in Orlando for three days to rest and play golf. It was hot and humid. But golf is always good and amazingly enough, I experienced some things I think could help us in the church.
Here are just a few:
• Even though I got to the course early each day to avoid the heat, there were a bunch of people already working long before I arrived making sure everything was ready so my experience, and the experience of everyone else who came that day, was the best it could possibly be.
• It was obvious they had worked hard to make sure our first impressions were the best they could be. I could tell how nice the course was going to be by the way they took care of the grounds, parking areas, clubhouse, carts, driving range, etc. If they took care of those things, it was a pretty good indicator they took care of everything else as well.
• I was expected to make a contribution and I did. Not sure where we ever got the idea we should allow people to come and do nothing – just watch. Those who sit and soak soon sulk, sour and sneak out. I was asked to contribute up front (paying green fees) and they expected me to fix and fill my own divots throughout the entire round. I didn’t mind their expectations at all. In fact, I actually enjoyed trying to exceed them.
• The first day I played alone. The next two days they placed me with total strangers. They didn’t ask who I’d like to be with or if I’d rather play alone, again. Ironically, I actually enjoyed the two rounds playing with others better than the one I played alone and I made new friends. One, a former NFL football player, gave me his phone number.
• The gentlemen I played with Tuesday and Wednesday encouraged me the entire round. Was it coincidence I played better when I played with others? Turns out golf, like church, is better with others.
• Everyone at the golf course went out of their way to make sure my experience was the best it could possibly be. The lady who waited on me for lunch asked my name and where I was from. When I returned for lunch after my round on the second day, Lori (yes, that’s her actual name) was already bringing me an unsweet tea with a lemon and called me by name. Very impressive.
I didn’t mind their expectations at all. In fact, I actually enjoyed trying to exceed them.
• The course was well designed and easy to navigate. It was obvious where to go and which hole was next. The path was clearly laid out and easy to follow. They didn’t assume anything and clearly defined everything. We could do a better job having a clearly defined path for people to follow when they come to church. At least we should.
• My experience this past week on a golf course in Florida left an impact on me. So much so, I’m sharing it with you and can’t wait to go back.
Isn’t that what we want people to experience when they come to worship?
Maybe we could use some golf lessons.
© 2018. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.