Alan Webber writes an entertaining and thought-provoking blog off the back of his bestseller Rule of Thumb. He wonders aloud today about the intractable nature of the big social problems of our day (‘childhood obesity’ being one example he cites) and recalls:

…a terrific Harvard Business School article that I worked on with one of the delightful faculty members back then, Professor Ben Shapiro. Ben had the cool idea of suggesting that if a business leader wanted to know how his or her company really operated, the trick would be to “staple yourself to an order.”

In that context, then the idea is to be able to try and follow the entire progress of an order, from placing to shipment and delivery, from the perspective of the order itself – giving the perfect perspective to spot the glitches, inefficiencies and potential improvements along the way.

What would happen if you could (metaphorically!) staple yourself to someone wondering about stepping into church for the first time? What might they fear and/or hope for? How would it feel? What would help them relax and be open to God-at-work? What does church feel like from the perspective of a visitor – where are the ‘trip-hazards’ in the experience that might stop them coming back?

Perhaps your own experience is recent enough for this to be a ‘remembering’ exercise – but my hunch is that we forget very quickly what being a ‘first-timer’ really feels like.