There I was, standing at my usual post at our greeter desk, positioned directly in front of our preschool area. We were 15 minutes into the service, and, per our security protocol, I had just shut our doors and heard the automatic “click” of the lock behind me.
Right at that exact moment, I heard the pitter-pattering of little footsteps and the clomp clomp of bigger footsteps rushing towards me. “Excuse me, Miss….Are we too late?” Standing before me were 3 sets of eyes–one adult set and two little sets peering at me from underneath hair that indicated that they hadn’t been too far removed from snuggling in their beds. It took me about 1 second to assess the situation. It was clear that Dad had woken up late and immediately kicked everything into high gear. It was also clear that Dad either let the boys pick their own attire for the day or that he wasn’t accustomed to clothes selection being one of his Sunday responsibilities.
At this point, I had two options. I could follow the rules, look this disheveled Dad in the eye and say, “Yes, I’m sorry, sir, you are too late. Here are a couple of coloring books and some Goldfish, best of luck…” or use my own discretion and escort the family back.
I went with the latter option. The Dad’s face beamed and the boys were so excited. As we walked down the hall, the Dad told me about how the Mom was out of town and that this was his first weekend home alone with the boys. He said that he promised them that they would go to church and that he wanted to keep that promise. As I escorted him to the boys’ separate classrooms, I realized that, although he forgot their diaper bags, he did remember to bring 1 Pullup for each child. That was good enough for me. As we handed the Pullups off and finished up the check in processes for both, each of the small group leaders welcomed the boys with a big high five and humongous grin. The best part is, I knew that this is what would happen. I knew that the boys would be welcomed by their small group leaders with open arms. There would be no glaring at watches, heavy sighs or rolling of eyes.
You see, this is what being the church is all about. It’s about having rules, but recognizing exceptions. It’s about working together as a team to create an impression on families that is unforgettable. From greeters to small group leaders, everyone on the team operating with the same end in mind, being the hands and feet of Christ to our families, the patient and understanding presence that they need…especially after a hectic morning in which you are wearing two different colored socks.
I decided to let the Dad notice that last little detail on his own.