I was going to share a dream and bible study like usual but I have this example in my head of how to explain the trouble with church in a way people can understand. I feel like it’s what the Lord wants me to write this morning so here goes.

What is McDonald’s took on the church model of training up its employees, what would that look like? First McDonald’s would need a meet house for each local store. The cornerstone of corporate culture would be a weekly meeting. This would be the main method of communicating with management. In this meeting the managers would occasionally remind the employees that a full training manual is available in store and if they just can’t afford it to come ask and one will be provided. The employees are to study the training manual on their own time and figure out the details of running the store. Try not to make any mistakes along the way, because the Ronald doesn’t come to those who mess up the process are some of the encouraging words they are given to ensure corporate compliance.

Then there is song time in the meeting house. Everyone sings together about burgers and fries and customer service. There’s only time for a few songs so the range of subjects isn’t that wide, some of the songs are even about singing the company songs. This really gets people in touch with the Ronald inside of them for a few minutes before training. It’s very good for reflecting on the company and getting the wiggles out before the seated portion of the meeting.

Then we get out the manual and choose about a quarter of a page from the 2,000 page manual and discuss the different theories on a topic. Some McDonald’s believe that the burger should be flipped after 2 minutes and 3 seconds for the best cook, but we do not subscribe to their madness. We believe in flipping the burger at 1 minute and 56 seconds because that is clearly the best cook on the meat and no one should ever advise any of you differently. They are from Wendy’s trying to mess us our store if they tell you anything but our specifications. Don’t let their McDonald’s hat fool you.

Now all the fry cooks know the specific time to flip the burgers and they know who not to trust within the organization. Hopefully one of these weeks they can learn about fries but just be patient and search the manual. Nobody knows that you’re supposed to take the garbage out either but they can figure that out themselves. Forget about the Fillet of Fish, that must have been for the ancient McDonald’s and anyone who claims to know how to make a Fillet of Fish from the manual or claims to have met Ronald in person is most likely making it up. Probably more of those dang Wendy’s employees infiltrating our store.

Now some groups of employees decide that they want more training in certain areas. So they get together a little extra. Sometimes that meet on a week night or all go to someone’s house. They get to know each other a little better and they study another quarter of a page of the manual. They found something about sweeping the floors and after 6 months of good weekly meetings that starts getting done on some of the shifts down at the store. They are picking up a few neat tricks out of the manual and getting excited to be more trained than most people.

Soon the most gifted of these groups start doing independent conferences teaching about McChickens. Employees from all over the country who have wondered about the McChicken flock to find out more. They are starved for information at this point and they are willing to pay out of pocket plus travel and hotel just to see a McChicken in real life! People keep ordering them but nobody knows what to do with that.

Soon groups of corporate trainers in the local meetings get together and start their own conferences. They teach primarily on how those McChicken people are from Wendy’s and trying to sabotage the local stores. Some employees hate the local McChicken weirdos and study more about what’s wrong with the McChicken people than they study the manual. The McChicken people point to the McChicken section of the manual as grounds for making McChickens and they even claim that there are others who will come one day and make Fillet of Fish! Most people think that’s nonsense but a few wild eyed dreamers start groups trying to make Fillet of Fish happen again. They are probably from Wendy’s.

Meanwhile the demand for nuggets out in the world is dropping rapidly. Nobody really makes them well and the stores aren’t that clean so people just stop wanting them. They start getting their nuggets at Wendy’s! Of all things this evil generation has the nerve to go to Wendy’s! So we start meetings and conferences about how Wendy’s is bad. Just because their nuggets make you feel good at first doesn’t mean that they won’t choke you eventually!

Some of the employees decide Ronald really just isn’t for them. He’s ok and all but they really don’t fit into the McDonald’s corporate culture. So they just make burgers at the house once in awhile and forget fast food all together. Ronald isn’t pleased with the way the whole thing works. This isn’t the training process he left in the manual for the trainers to follow. Now problems are happening in all directions and he’s sending out emails to every employees and manager saying to change things. But only the weird McChicken people even care about the emails. To everyone else those emails from Ronald are just made up. Only the ancients got emails from Ronald.

The fry people still don’t know what they are supposed to do. They want to make fries so bad. They looked in the manual about fries. They asked the trainers about fries. They even asked the McChicken people about fries! They got a lot of answers but no one ever showed them what a fry is supposed to look like or taste like. They think they might be making fries and might even be making them the way Ronald likes them but there’s really no way to tell. No one has ever just come into the store with them and made fries with them. The trainers don’t know any more about making fries than the fry cooks do at this point. The fry cooks just keep making them the best they can but they are no confident in the process at all. The same is true for most of the positions.

Some of the ones that want to know more just go straight to trainers school. Of course, Wendy’s really has got some people infiltrating in there. They have them convinced that this whole process is the best way to run a McDonald’s. Meanwhile Wendy’s just keeps taking customers and McDonald’s is fighting a losing battle against their own system. Ronald never set up that system in the first place. He wanted each person walked through their job, mistakes corrected and all of it done with a unity of purpose to serve all the customers in the world. But the Wendy’s people convinced them that manual didn’t say what it said and didn’t mean what it meant.

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