“Where’s the Beef?”

In 1984 the hamburger chain Wendy’s introduced a commercial that became an instant classic. In the early releases, the commercial portrayed an elderly woman looking at a hamburger from a competitor of Wendy’s. The meat in the burger was ridiculously small. So she yelled with frustration, “Where’s the beef?”

Wendy’s, of course, was making a point. The beef at their restaurants was bigger and fresher than the beef at other fast-food franchises. If you really wanted beef, you went to Wendy’s.

This chapter is about surprises, things that church members may not consider about guests. One of those surprises was a figurative cry from church members: “Where’s the information?”

Many guests want to get more information about the church they are visiting. While they may have gotten some information on the website, their visit indicates an even greater interest. They are looking for information. Can they find it at your church? Many of them told us they could not.

So here is a simple solution for churches of all sizes. Have a centrally located place where there is an abundance of information about the church. Call it a welcome center or guest center or information center—just have something.

Make it simple, but attractive. Have information available about the church. Have Bibles to give away. Have other gifts to give. Make certain you have a friendly and knowledgeable person manning the center any time there are guests in the church. Make certain that person does not get lost in a holy huddle.

It’s very simple. Guests are internally exclaiming, “Where’s the information?” Our churches must be able to respond with answers, resources, and clarity.

Thom S. Rainer, Becoming a Welcoming Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, 2018).

I have just completed a series of lessons based on becoming a welcoming church. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series.