ENCOUNTERS AT THE COUNTER*
What Congregations Can Learn About Hospitality from Business
ISBN/Prod. Code: 978-0-8298-1817-8
Returning to the U.S. after foreign leave, Johnson began to look for employment. He had left his position as a hospital chaplain of seven years, and hoped that his 38 years of ordained ministry — 16 of which he had spent traveling the U.S. teaching hospitality to congregations — would enable him to return to full-time ministry. In the process, he became intrigued by a part-time customer service position at a bread company, applied for it, and was hired. He immediately discovered an interface between hospitality and spirituality. He made a commitment at the bread company to deepen the hospitality with spirituality, while vowing to enrich the spirituality of the congregations he mentored with hospitality. Encounters at the Counter shares Johnson’s engaging in face-to-face customer service. It explores the dimensions of hospitality that can be applied to congregations seeking to demonstrate genuine hospitality, such as: the contagion of happiness, maximizing routines, renewing resources, taking time and making time and promoting the quality of the product as well as the process.
ALAN JOHNSON, an ordained United Church of Christ minister, was on the national staff of the United Church of Christ as secretary of evangelism for spiritual and membership growth. He received his M.Div. from Yale University and has trained at the Shalem Institute in group spiritual guidance.