Would you think less of me if I had another kid just so that my wife and I don’t lose the coveted preschool parking lot privilege at North Point Community Church? Be straight with me, would you stop reading the blog? OK, OK, I hear what you are saying. What if instead of that, I just parked in visitor parking for the next few decades? Still bad, huh? Good to know.
The whole parking lot thing is kind of weird when you think about it. When you go other places in life, people try to make the arrival as pleasant as the actual experience. When you visit a W hotel for instance, the lobby is stunning. There are cool little couches, warm candles, people with interesting goatees and mood lighting that helps set the stage for an amazing experience. At churches, or at least big churches where lots of folks go, it’s the opposite. Right before you go into worship, you do something that most people hate, sit in traffic. And even if your church isn’t crowded, you still have to find a parking spot, which can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. We used to park out in the middle of grassy fields at my church because the parking lot got so out of control.
And forget about it if the guy directing traffic is new. He’s letting people cross in front of you one at a time. Doesn’t he know the clump rule? Unless there is a sizable clump, don’t stop traffic. I thought I was alone in this belief until I heard that my friends often have their wives drive at church because otherwise they get too angry. And a few weeks ago a woman pulled over, got out of her car, and berated the guy in the orange vest for not obeying the “one lane goes, then the other lane goes” rule.
At my church, GracePointeLifeTruthHouseNorthRiverElevate, things are going to be a little different:
1. Mandatory Cotton Candy
I don’t want you having a grumpy experience and then immediately walking in to hear my flow. (Flow is what you call a sermon when you haven’t been to seminary.) So, greeters will hand you a big stick of pink or blue cotton candy at the door. Comedian Daniel Tosh says it’s impossible to be unhappy on a Jet Ski. I think the same is true of cotton candy. Cotton candy kills grumpiness.
2. On the back movies
The guys and girls directing traffic in the parking lot are going to be wearing little battery operated DVD players on their back. I’m talking about the kind you attach to your headrest in your car for long trips. That way, when you’re staring daggers into their back, you’ll be able to watch a little “Back to the Future.” Is there anyone on the planet that didn’t love that movie?
3. The slide
The parking lot is going to be a mile away from the church and the church is going to be at the bottom of a long hill. When you park, you’ll pick up a potato sack and swoosh down a mile long slide to church. How ready for worship and praise would you be if you had just ridden a mile long slide? I don’t know how you’ll get back to your car when church is over. It will probably involve unicycles on some level.
A group of little kids, called the “Skittle Crew,” will pick up all the treats I throw during the service. They’ll then hand them out to you while you wait to leave the parking lot. Granted, the candy will be a little sweaty from spending a few minutes in their hands, but that’s kind of what happens when you share food with a little kid. Kids are just germy like that. I recently did my best to keep my 2-year old daughter from touching anything at the pet store or as we call it, “the free zoo.” Just when I was feeling good driving home thinking that she had not picked up any weird lizard disease, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw that she had taken off her sandals and was licking the pet store funk off the bottom of them. Awesome.
I probably need to be careful about writing posts in which I talk about starting a church because what if God calls my bluff? What if He says, “let’s do it.” Can you imagine how long the sign out front would be to fit the name, GracePointeLifeTruthHouseNorthRiverElevate?
Based on some reader feedback, the name of the church is now iGreaterGracePointeXTruthZionHouseNorthRiverElevate.