Friday, October 27, 2006

Swedish for common sense

Those who know me would think I'd be the last person to advertise for a department store, but I need to make an exception for the Ikea store in Calgary.

First off, the parking lot has a "family section" (mini-vans technically aren't required but that's all I see there). Wherever you park, you are a few steps from the sidewalk and can reach the entrance without crossing the road. Once you step in there is an enclosed play spot to sign in/drop off kids (minimum and maximum height restrictions apply). they give the kids name tags and they give you a beeper.

Next comes a cafeteria which sells pancake and egg breakfast for $1 (3 strips of bacon is another $1) including juice. The eating area includes a TV showing Disney movies and little chairs/tables designed for kids too small to go to the play area. To top it off the family washroom has complimentary diapers.

The shopping carts are a fantastic toy in themselves. The wheels swivel so freely that you can move the cart sideways. It glides so well that if you shove it right it can do a 360. The kid seems to enjoy it. And yes, the aisles are wide enough for that sort of thing.

Such a change from the Churches where the building comittee actually buys things which make my life more difficult (e.g. breakable or dangerous). If they got a preacher in on Sundays, it might pose the greatest temptation to leave my church that I have faced...

2 comments:

Dave King said...

I'm sure some mega church somewhere would find this inspiring.

- Peace

Richard said...

Maybe, but I didn't say that I would actually leave - just that it would pose a great temptation.

Was it Petersen that went to a Church that had none of the usual conveniences that nicely segregate the noisy children from the main congregation? Something about noticing the older women sympathizing with the young mom and concluding that was better for community?

Sometimes the two models described above sound like deciding between ham or turkey for thanksgiving - both have advantages (and lack advantages of the other).

And then, of course, there's the in-between model which combines the worst of both worlds. No conveniences for parents and instead of sympathy from the others you get scowls from the congregation, rebukes from the ushers, and public humiliation from the priest.

I do know in my head that modelling a Church after Ikea is wrong on many levels - but bringing my heart in line as usual takes time.