Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Great Meal, Even Better Conversation

This week the Life Mission team along with our senior pastor Mark Beeson had the privilege of meeting with the executive management team of Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. As an organization they are not only interested in providing the most amazing dining experience for their patrons but they want to actively engage in each community where they have a restaurant. Last August they opened their first store in Granger on University Drive just east of the GCC campus.

They invited us over to a private luncheon and served us one amazing meal. They wanted to hear about what we were doing in the community and how they might be able to help with that effort both with employee time and financial support.

We were given the VIP tour, heard the story how a single mom named Ruth Fertel purchased a steak house (Chris' Steak House) 65 years ago in New Orleans in order to help provide her family a better life. We ate, laughed and shared stories. It was an honor getting the chance to sit next to Mark and hear him share how he and Sheila started the church - I have probably heard the story hundreds of times and never tire of listening to it. It reminded me of how the Israelites probably passed along their oral history from generation to generation. I was inspired to listen to Rob Wagner share our story on missions - from downtown South Bend to southern India. I added my small part but was simply fascinated to watch the meeting unfold. It was motivating to hear the leadership of Ruth's Chris share the critical need for their people and their organization to become embedded into a community. It was right out of a Jim Collin's book on how good organizations become great organizations.

Where's it going? Don't know yet. But it felt comfortable. It felt like we had a common goal even though our organizational purposes were vastly different. If nothing else I'd love to learn how they make each and every guest that walks through their front door feel like the most special person in the world. If we could transfer that "special feeling" to every guest that walks into Granger Community Church or the Monroe Circle Community Center we could really be on to something!

1 comment:

Marc Millan said...

Ruth Chris is not only one of the best places to dine but without question a great place for conversation and environment, have always enjoyed it.