I hear a lot about “epic fails” these days. Typically, that means something has gone very wrong – and ended up on YouTube or Facebook. The truck was too tall for the underpass and it took out the bridge. The boat sank because it took on sixteen too many passengers. The kid broke his arm when he tried to leap off the roof, bounce off the trampoline, and do a back-flip into the birdbath.

Epic fails.

Last Sunday the hospitality team was short handed. They didn’t schedule anyone to greet in the parking lot.

Not a big deal. Hardly a fail. And certainly not an epic fail.


Except for Cynthia, who hadn’t been in church since she was a child. She drove into the parking lot but didn’t know where to park, so she took it as a sign that she wasn’t supposed to go back to church.

The hospitality team didn’t have enough hosts to “work the crowd” after worship.

Everyone’s supposed to be a host anyway, right? Again, not a problem. Not a fail.

Except for Chad. He’d hung out after worship for coffee, but the lobby was crowded and so filled with people engaged in conversation that no one noticed him. No one engaged him in even the idle-ist of chit-chat. Besides, Chad had attended twice over the last four weeks, so no one saw him as a first-time visitor anyway. In fact, no one really saw him at all as he sipped his coffee in the middle of the crowded room. And that meant no one saw him leave and decide not to come back because he figured he didn’t fit in.

When it comes to hospitality, it doesn’t take much for a little fail to be epic.