Little Things Don’t Mean a Lot – They Mean Everything

I went to McDonalds recently . . . because I got a coupon in an order for a free Southern Style Chicken Sandwich. I ordered my sandwich, a small fry and a small soda. The total came to $3.47 – I was a happy camper. I can’t remember the last time I ate lunch for under $3.50!McDonalds Southern Style Chicken Sandwich

About two bites into my ‘Chick-Fil-A-look-a-like’ sandwich I glanced at the receipt. And that’s when I noticed it:

Eat-In Tax….. 0.25

I was a charged a QUARTER for eating my meal in the restaurant where I ordered it. I was no longer a happy camper.

Now, before you think this must be a ‘New York City’ thing, I want you to know that this happened outside NYC . . . in a standard suburban McDonalds.

The issue was not the actual 25 cents . . . The issue was not ‘tax’ as I don’t mind paying any legitimate tax (render under Caesar and all that)… The issue was that McDonald’s was charging me a hidden fee to eat the meal I purchased from them on their premises.

Here’s the point: The issue wasn’t the quarter but the feeling the quarter caused. It left a bad impression on me that I’ve been living with for several days now. Over a mere 25 cents, McDonald’s left me feeling bad about the entire experience (and overall the chicken sandwich was pretty good).

In 1988, I heard bestselling author Harvey Mackay speak and he said:

Little things don’t mean a lot – they mean everything!

I’ve lived with that quote for almost two decades! In this case, one little thing at a fast-food restaurant left a huge negative impression on me.

So here’s a question for you. . .what are the little things you are doing at your church that are leaving negative impressions on your guests or regular attenders?

Here are a few things to prime your thinking:

  • Are you charging for regular coffee on Sunday? Eat the quarter and give it away!
  • Are you being stingy with your printed materials and trying to save a quarter by not printing both sides in color?
  • Are you skipping the ‘little things’ in your worship service and not telling people when you are about to pray or when its time to sit down?
  • Are there funky odors in the bathrooms that a 25-cent deodorizer would solve?
  • Are there lights burned out in the children’s area?
  • Are the labels on the envelopes you mail out more than a little crooked? (couldn’t resist mentioning envelopes since Harvey Mackay is in the envelope biz)
  • Are you settling for regular paper instead of heavy stock for your connection cards in an attempt to save a few cents?

You get the picture. Let me remind you again:

Little things don’t mean a lot, they mean everything!

What changes do you need to make this week that will remove negative impressions and leave people saying ‘Wow!’ when they leave your church on Sunday?

I’m not saying that I won’t ever eat at McDonalds again but I will probably get my future orders ‘to go.’


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

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