Today we continue the series First Impressions Fridays, where we focus on First Impressions.  Each Friday.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Not every Starbucks has a singing barista.  But mine most certainly does.  Some mornings, his impromptu ballad about coffee crumb cake brings a welcome smile.  He’s happy…I’m happy…the world is happy.  But some mornings, when I get the Batman theme song, I’m not so happy.  I have stuff on my mind.  I don’t want to be annoyed.

Then there are mornings where I’m happy…but he’s not.  I don’t get a song.  There’s no crumb cake tune, no masked crusader ditty.  He’s reserved, quiet, and maybe…whoa!  Is that a little bit of bad mood I detect?

I’ve also noticed that my singing barista has a similar effect on other customers.  There are some that playfully interact with him.  There are others who appear to want to push his head into the coffee grinder and hit “Turkish Blend.”

In guest services situations, every one of us has a little Singing Barista inside, needing desperately to notice and respond to social cues.  My barista is a great guy, but there are days when a song isn’t needed or desired.  It pushes me away from conversation rather than drawing me in.

The same goes for a church setting.  Every weekend we have first time guests who want us to proverbially sing over them.  They want us to go all out in including them in the party.  Others are more reserved, and an exuberant welcome is not appreciated…it’s creepy.  The key is recognizing what they need, and responding in kind.

What “singing barista moments” are you observing in your ministry?