Exceeding Expectations


This weekend the Stephens family will be packing our suitcases, and hopping a plane to the most magical place on Earth. That’s right, we’re going to Disneyworld. This will be our third trip to see the mouse since 2012.

Why do we keep going back? Because it’s the single best experience my family has ever had. Is it worth the cost? Absolutely. You can’t put a price on pure joy, which is what my girls’ experience each time we go.

The first time we went my daughter Layla was 2 years old, and my youngest Presley was still in the womb. Florida may be the Sunshine State, but not that week. That week Tropical Storm Debbie decided to visit Orlando as well. Yet, despite the weather, Disney still exceeded our expectations.

A perfect example is the picture above. On our last morning there we decided to get in a couple hours at Epcot before we had to catch our flight home. But we didn’t have time to wait in line for Layla to see Mickey and Minnie one last time. So, Layla had to settle for peering through the windows at the other kids getting their pictures taken with Minnie.

You can imagine how devastating this could be for a two year old, yet Minnie Mouse turned it into a positive. Every time Minnie got just a little break from the other families who had waited in line, she would come over to the window to interact with Layla. She didn’t have to do it, we didn’t deserve it, yet she went above and beyond to make our vacation special. It’s a moment our family will never forget.

What if your church did the same? What if every week you looked for opportunities to exceed people’s expectations? What if you went out of your way to make guests feel special? What could that look like in your church?

Here’s what it looks like in my church.

  • People expect someone to greet them at the door, we exceed expectations by greeting them in the parking lot.
  • People expect a free cup of coffee, we exceed expectations by giving them a free doughnut as well.
  • People expect us to care for their babies, we exceed expectations by making sure every child in our nursery gets a diaper change whether they need it or not.
  • People expect us to babysit their kids, we exceed expectations by having games, songs, and live acting that teaches them about Jesus on their level.
  • People expect to be greeted with a smile, we exceed expectations by giving them a handshake or a hug.
  • People expect for their kids to be safe, we exceed expectations by having a check-in system for kids, as well as background checks for all volunteers.
  • People who visit us for the first time don’t know what to expect, we exceed expectations by making them feel welcome, giving them a gift, and sending them a letter thanking them for visiting.

Are you currently exceeding expectations at your church? What are some of the things you’re doing?

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