If Jesus Were To Be On Undercover Boss

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                      April 19, 2012


The King will reply. ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:40)


A current show on TV that is pretty interesting is Undercover Boss. The plot revolves around a company CEO, or similar, going into one of the company’s business locations as a “bottom rung” employee and getting a new perspective on how things get done, the attitudes of the employees, how customers get treated, and the frustrations of the lowest level positions.

I was at a Long John Silver’s restaurant last night in Huntington, West Virginia, and I left there muttering to myself “I wish an Undercover Boss would visit this establishment!” After standing in front of the disinterested employee for a good minute, and there was no one else in line before me or after me, she then acknowledged my presence with a pseudo-interested “How are you today?” Having just read Lencioni’s The Three Signs of a Miserable Job, I wanted to ask her “What is the purpose of your job?”…but I didn’t!

As I left the restaurant and headed to CVS for some Pepcid, I thought of Jesus! After all, eating a sampler platter at LJS probably brought me a few steps closer to meeting Jesus…for eternity! (I wonder if they have Friday Night Fish Fries in heaven!)

I thought about Jesus doing an episode of Undercover Boss in one of his churches. What would that look like? I’m imagining conversations. Our church is small enough that any visitor stands out, but also there has developed a deeper interest in recognizing one another. That is, if you are in attendance at one of our worship services everyone gets greeted. In fact, restoring order after the time of greeting is like herding cats. So, I’m pretty confident that Jesus would be inundated with greetings and handshakes.

But Jesus, being the One who knows the truth, the way, and the life…since he is…would also, I’m sure, discover the dirty little secrets that are a part of every congregation. I don’t think he’d ask much about programming and curriculum, or even about the songs that were sung or the organ that wasn’t used. I think he’d focus on the church’s relational life- how the church communicates the love of Christ to one another, how the church “cross-generations” itself in conversations, how much talking it has about “God things” and “Christ-learnings.”

How does the Body find out that Betty is in the hospital?”

How does the church specifically pray for Jim’s job situation?”

How does the Jones family sense the church’s concern for their eleven year old son who was just discovered to be diabetic?”

How does the Body keep talking about their “new life” experiences?”

And I think “undercover Jesus” would focus on how the faith experience is meshing with life. In other words, his discoveries would be made just as much outside the walls of the church building as in it. Dare I say, even more of the “aired episode” would be in the out-and-aboutness of “the church”!

I could see Jesus “shadowing” the fourth grade teacher into her classroom.

Why do you bring extra snacks with you to school?”

I’ve got a few students who very seldom are able to bring a snack with them. They know that there will be something for them if they have nothing. “Nothing” is more their norm, and it’s because that’s how it is with their family’s situation.”

Jesus Undercover would reveal the connection and disconnections between faith and life. Lived-out faith, if you will!

Finally, I think Jesus would focus on “hope.” How does his church give signs of hope and words of hope to the community? How does hope become a part of the proclamation of the Gospel? How much does the church buy into the message?

The young woman at Long John Silver’s had not bought into it. She was getting some things out of it- a pay check and an attitude of indifference- but if the deep fryer at LJS malfunctioned and the restaurant burned down today her response might more likely be “Thank God! A free night!”

Of course, in regards to the faith community and our faith, the Word tells us that our love for Jesus is lived out in how we love one another. The living out of our faith is intimately connected with how we treat one another.

For the record, don’t get the fried shrimp at LJS. I think they put in an order for the smallest possible shrimp available! Why do they always look so much bigger on the menu board?

Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Faith, Humor, The Church, Uncategorized

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