Last weekend I blazed through Nelson Searcy’s new book Connect: How to Double Your Number of VolunteersI’m sure I’ll return to this blog in the weeks to come to more fully unpack some of the content, but there’s one tiny little phrase that’s been rolling around in my brain ever since I read it:

[His] attitude did not match the atmosphere.

Pick whatever context you’d like: a surly waiter in an upscale restaurant. An over-eager worship leader during a subdued worship moment. A berating parent when a child needs care and comfort. Whatever you pick, it’s the attitude that doesn’t go with the atmosphere.

We see it on our guest services teams: depressed, frowning, Eeyore-style faces that don’t match the atmosphere that Jesus is alive and we’re grateful guests have come to hear that truth. Follow up processes that – well – never actually follow up, leaving guests to wonder if the church really wants them involved or not.

Team leaders that see their obligation rather than their opportunity.

Team members that serve not because they get to, but because they’re guilted to.

A church where the attitude is not We’re glad you’re here! but You took my seat!

If the attitude you express doesn’t match the atmosphere you’ve created, then pretty soon those attitudes will create a different kind of atmosphere. And I can guarantee it’ll be one you neither intended or wanted.