I get a random newspaper delivered to my driveway…well…randomly.
There’s no apparent rhyme or reason. It doesn’t come on a particular day of the week, nor does it come every week. There are mornings I will be driving out of my neighborhood and notice that some of my neighbors had a paper chunked in their yard, but I didn’t get one.
And it’s not even a real newspaper. It’s actually ads and sales papers and pizza coupons. I’ve actually thought about asking the random paper delivery person to just toss it straight into the recycling bin and save me a few steps.
I remember when the not-really-a-newspaper first showed up. It was a “wow” moment. I’m getting this for free, I thought. It was a surprise and delight.
But now, it’s just annoying.
As I reflected this morning on another random non-news delivery, the thought struck me: do we do the same thing to our guests? I’m not talking here about our first-time guests. For them, everything is new and (hopefully) meaningful. Rather, I’m referring to our regular, every-week, recurring guests. (And for clarity, I refer to anyone who walks onto our campus – from covenant member to senior pastor – as a guest).
Are the processes predictable for them? Do we deliver the same approach to serving them week in and week out? Can they determine a method behind the madness, make sense of the scene before them, and have confidence in what we’re asking them to do? Can they find comfort in the predictable routines we lay before them?
Surprises are fun, but not at the expense of meaning. And predictability is good, but not at the expense of getting stuck in a rut.
How are you balancing the two in your ministry?