My family loves Disney! And if you have ever been to a Disney Park, then you have likely experienced the “magic” of Disney. But the magic doesn’t just happen; it’s created. And the principles are drilled into employees beginning with their orientation.
Numerous articles have been written about this orientation. It is said that the first rule is “We create happiness.” But the second is right behind it, “Everyone picks up trash.”
Yes, there are cast members assigned to empty trash, sweep, and change lightbulbs, but no cast member, whether a ride operator or executive, should walk by a leftover napkin, a park map, or an empty water bottle, and not pick it up.
McDonald’s adopted a similar idea. Employees remember Ray Kroc, the former CEO, saying to his employees, “If you’ve got time to lean, you’ve got time to clean.”
And rumor is, at certain Chick fil-A restaurants, when a candidate is coming for an interview, a piece of trash is intentionally left out, just to see if the candidate will notice and pick up the trash.
Of course, for Disney, McDonald’s, and Chick fil-A it’s not just about cleanliness, although that’s important. But the idea is that everyone has a responsibility to the whole. Everyone, whether a cashier or a vice-president, should be contributing to the overall environment.
I’ve found myself reflecting on these business principles as I’ve wrestled with our upcoming sermon series. After his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus spends the next days teaching in and around Jerusalem. We find this series of teachings in Matthew 21-25.
These five chapters contain some of the most challenging teachings of Jesus. So challenging in fact, that even though certain sections get assigned as part of the Sunday lectionary, most preachers tend to avoid these texts, choosing instead to focus somewhere else during these weeks.
But I think it’s important that we look at these texts. I’m finding that they offer a powerful, and needed, reminder for the church. We’re all members of this church that we call First Presbyterian Church. And I believe that we all want the best for our church, for each other. We want our church to exist not just today, but into the next generation.
But here’s the thing, that won’t just happen. It will take all of us. Because church growth isn’t a magical equation. Church health isn’t dependent upon a few. Church vitality isn’t the responsibility of the pastor alone. Rather, we all have a role to play. We’re all in this together.
I hope you’ll join us over the next four weeks as we wrestle with Jesus’ words and call.
Grace and peace,