Monday, May 6, 2013

Going Above and Beyond Expectations

The last ten years have been full of traveling for me. The first year of marriage my Argentine wife who had never been to the US before our marriage (No, she is not a mail-order bride) got to travel and see twelve different states. I have family that have never left the state of VA, oh what a sad and small life they live. Traveling a lot also means that you fly a lot, especially once you start being an international traveler, which I think I would qualify as one now considering I was in five countries last year and live in a S. Asian country now.

Because I am the type of guy that likes to save money I usually go with the cheapest airline ticket that I can find, which means I have taken many different airlines. Some experiences have been good, some have been bad, but none of them have ever been quite like what I experienced when I flew Emirates Airlines. My wife and I had heard rumors that Emirates was an amazing airline with some of the best food but we had never had the opportunity to experience them first hand until our vacation last year.

Emirates went above and beyond any expectations that we had and made us feel like they were actually there to serve us. We have never flown first class, but this felt like first class compared to any other flying experience we had in the past. We found our seats, got settled in and they were offering us juice and water. If you know me, then you know that I immediately asked, "Is this free or included in the price of my ticket?" They then gave our son, who was on an infant ticket, a backpack to keep that was full of games, a blanket, and a stuffed animal. We were all set for a fifteen hour flight, which had three meals and snacks. Each meal a menu was given out with three different dishes to choose from, we felt like we were at a restaurant every time there was a meal served.

I could go on and on about all of the helpful and convenient things that Emirates did that other airlines do not, but I will spare you the details and just encourage you to fly with them if you have the opportunity. The reason that I mention Emirates to you is because our churches should be the same way but often are not.

We should go above and beyond the expectations of our visitors. As the body of Christ we should wow those outside the church in how we function as a body. As first impressions Guru Danny Franks says, "We should answer the question they're not asking."

What are some areas where you have seen a church go above and beyond what you expected as a visitor or an outsider? Share below.


  1. The Indians have always been generous. In India house churches in poorer neighborhoods would honor us in the traditional way with garlands. In Bangalore, this would also be accompanied with a small blanket to wear since it was cooler there than most Indians are used to. In The UAE, the Indians in the churches there would bless us with the abundance they had by virtue of the city they worked in. In all places, the Indians would bless us with good food made from fresh vegetables and meats.

    The Venezuelans have welcomed us into their homes and given us beds to sleep in. We have a large enough team this year that we are planning to put up everyone in a hotel. But when my wife and kids have spent the summer there, they stayed in homes with families of the church.

    In London, Lois and I attended a small church that no one on the teams had visited before. Although they are small, they have some room in their building and strong hearts for Christ. So they were interested in the work we were doing. They have helped our teams now for the past couple of years, hosting daily team meetings and harboring supplies for our efforts there.

  2. Jim, thank you for sharing. Based on your observations, it seems that often times those with the least in material wealth and possession are the ones known for the best hospitality. I have also experienced some similar forms of hospitality in India and Argentina, at times when it was not expected.