Dec 28, 2008

We Ain't Got Nobody!

Recently I was in a check-out line at a large department store. The cashier was scanning my purchases…and then it happened. One of the items was missing the sku number and she couldn’t ring it up. Don’t you hate it when that happens!I really needed the item, so I asked if she could page someone to get one that had a sku number on it. She sighed, looked around, and then said something I will never forget. She said “We ain’t got nobody!” Translated that means, “Too bad…I am not going to make an effort to help you.” I am often amazed at the lack of customer service effort some people put forth. I guess they forget that the customer is why they are there.But before we go pointing the finger at someone else, we should take a hard look at the ministries we lead. Each week families walk in our doors that need our help.What kind of help do they need? Below is a good starting point. Lifeway recently conducted an on-line survey to find out the top ten issues facing families today. Here are the results…

1. Anti-Christian Culture: The stripping away of Christian heritage and traditional values.

2. Divorce: The ongoing wave of broken marriages and families both within the church and without.

3. Busyness: The participation in numerous activities crowding out quality family fellowship.

4. Lack of a Father Figure: The absence of a father in the home or lack of strong participation in the family.

5. Lack of Discipline: The death of respectful behavior as a norm in our schools, churches, and families.

6. Financial Pressures: The chronic misuse of debt and/or mismanagement of financial resources.

7. Lack of Communication: The increasing abbreviation or near elimination of meaningful family memberinteraction.

8. Negative Media Influences: The growing influx of destructive images and messages into the home.

9. Balance of Work and Family: The rising pressure to invest more of one’s energy in work at the expense offamily.

10. Materialism: The placing in high regard of ownership and consumption as a family priority.

These are the kind of issues that the families we minister to are facing…and they are coming to us for answers. It’s as if they are standing in front of us waiting for our response. Will our response be “we ain’t got nobody” to help you?Back to my department store experience. Here I am standing in line...wondering what to do… a long line of people behind me giving me the “look.” I really needed the item that didn’t have the sku on it. About that time a manager walked by. I asked for his help. His response was different. He immediately accessed the situation and told the cashier to ring up the item at well below the original price. His leadership had stepped in and made the difference.My prayer is that we will be like that manager. We will see families that are facing the above issues and we will step in to bring answers and hope. Instead of saying “we ain’t got nobody” let’s say “we are here for you and God’s Word has the answers to the issues you are facing.”

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