An unavoidable nail in the road, and a subsequent flat tire, forced me into an unplanned trip to the tire store. With the flat tire in the trunk and the spare tire providing a temporary replacement, Teri and I headed to the newly opened Hibdon Tire Store in my hometown of Owasso, Oklahoma.
We pulled into the parking lot, opened the trunk, retrieved the punctured tire, and headed for the door. Before we could get there, the front door opened and a manager met us with a smile and took the tire from me before I could even tell him why we were there.
With tire in tow, he walked us through the lobby and told us he would have the tire fixed in less than five minutes. While being grateful for the help, I was a bit skeptical about the time he said it would take. I have heard things like this before and waited more than thirty minutes. It was my plan to just leave it and come back later, but he assured me (even though they were busy) that it would not take long.
While standing there, a salesman engaged us in a pleasant conversation and made us aware that coffee was available and thanked us for coming into the store. In just a couple of minutes, the manager reappeared and asked us for the keys to the car so they could put the tire back on. I had assumed I would bring the repaired tire home and replace it as an afternoon activity. In just a few moments the repaired tire was back in place, the spare was put away, and a mechanic pulled the car out of the bay.
When we went to pay, the manager was at the register, and said with a smile “No charge—it was just a small repair, thanks for coming into Hibdon.” I was quite amazed and thoroughly impressed by the whole experience. If their intent was to win me over with good service and a friendly smile, I have no problem confessing that they succeeded! When I have a need to replace my tires or to have any services rendered that they can provide, it will not be hard for me to decide where to go.
Most likely this exceptional service was provided because the individuals involved were genuinely good people, had developed good character, and were doing their best to make their business successful. They obviously understood that service matters, and people will respond with their patronage.
We would do well to learn “the lesson of the tire store,” and treat people who visit our church with similar courtesy and hospitality. If we would see our church grow and the Kingdom of God expand, we too need to understand that there is a correlation between how we treat people and their willingness to visit us again. If people are willing to give their best for worldly profit, we should be willing to give our best to God and for other’s eternal profit.
“And the Lord commended the unjust steward, because he hath done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Luke 16:8