It finally happened. I had only thought about buying an iPad and wasn’t even serious until I found out that you can take an iPad through security at the airport without removing it from your briefcase. That benefit, plus the lighter weight, convinced me that it was time to make the investment. So last month I went to the Apple Store and ordered my iPad.
Now the iPad has many of the same features as an iPhone and a computer, but it is not the same. So there is a learn- ing curve. Every time I pull out the iPad, I have another question.
This is where I confess that all these electronic gadgets scare the heck out of me. I am always afraid that I am going to hit a button and everything I have written and saved will vanish into outer space.
So unlike younger folks who just play around with their device until they figure it out, I make the short trek over to the Apple Store and ask my questions.
What I have noticed is that I really like going to the Apple Store. When you walk in, you are warmly greeted.
The staffers listen to my silly questions without a sign of snickering. They quickly determine whether they can answer my question and if not, they personally take me to someone who can – and they always mention that if the problem is too complicated for them, they will take you to see the “genius.”
Luckily, I have not had to go to the holy of holy area. Once I get my question answered, I feel I am a little more knowledgeable and more proficient with my iPad.
I also leave the store with a smile on my face for I have just experienced being welcomed, informed, inspired and treated with respect. The staff immediately made me feel that I was one of them — a member of the iPad generation.
I wish that visitors and church members felt the same way. What if we welcomed people, and I mean really welcomed people, to our churches on Sunday morning?
What if we helped them get situated in the sanctuary (visitors are always afraid of sitting in someone’s seat), we actually escorted parents to the nursery with their children, and really engaged them in meaningful conversation and tried to answer their questions?
What if our churches could measure up to the standards of the Apple Store? What do you think?
Richard Hearne is Lay Leader of the North Texas Conference, which stretches from just this side of Bogata to just that side of Burkburnett. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.