Yep it’s true!

I walk past 11 other cafes including a steep hill-climb to get to my favourite one. So you’d have to ask – why?!

Well here are my top 5 reasons for this bizarre behaviour:*

Reason #5: I like the ambience – a unique blend of vibrancy and warmth.
Reason #4: The food is stunning and well priced.
Reason #3: The coffee is brilliant every time.
Reason #2: They’re always prepared to tailor and customise my order.
Reason #1: The owner (Bianca) knows my name & makes me feel welcome.

Now when I think about the retail outlets of Christianity (we call them “church”) I guess there are plenty to choose from that dish up a good “product” on Sunday.

Seems to me though, the thing that’s much harder to find is a church that customises its “programs,” learns your name and makes you feel welcome.

Am I being a bit unfair do you think? A bit harsh?

My wife Jacqui and I spent 3 years several years ago looking for a church – not just to be consumers, but to offer the gifts and abilities that God had given us, in His service.

Now we found one church that sang some great songs … but you didn’t need to take your Bible because you were unlikely to need it. And unless you attended twice on Sunday; unless you “got with the program”, you just weren’t committed.

At the other end of the spectrum, we attended a more traditional church for 12 months – strong on preaching the Word. But it took 9 months before we were invited out for so much as a cup of coffee. When Jacqui collapsed at work and was rushed into hospital for major surgery, only one person visited her … once. And when we left, it took 6 months for our home group leader to email us to see where we were.

So as Christ-followers (imperfect though we are), we decided that these (and quite a few other) churches were not the places to invest that which God had given us.

Fortunately since then, we have found a church where we’re loved and accepted. A church that’s making a difference in the marketplace (albeit imperfectly).

But after trying about a dozen, the question is … Why did it take so long to find a ‘Bianca’ in the Kingdom of God?

What’s your experience?