A few days ago I was part of a group conversation. The topic: recent discouraging contacts with retail/service outlets. The focus: frustrations occurring because of unhelpful, unresponsive service personnel. Numerous incidents were used to illustrate frustrations. Why were people frustrated? The reasons included (1) no help was offered; or (2) service personnel showed no interest; or (3) a customer with a specific request was ignored; or (4) there was no awareness of the customer's time restraints.

Certainly, I realize it is a "two way" problem. Expectations may be unreasonable. One may bring his/her frustrations with him/her. Patience may be in short supply. A legitimate business problem may exist that prohibits the anticipated response. The service personnel may have no "people skills" and interact poorly with people.

I have no interest in debating the problem. I hope we have interest in learning from the problem. When caring people show real concern and appreciation for others, it makes a lasting impression. That impression creates future opportunities.

A congregation is in "the people business." We are not in that "business" to sell, or to exploit, or to manipulate, or to "fake" concern. We are in that "business" to bring people closer to a caring God. People are touched by God's caring when they are touched by our caring. When people worship with us, the last thing we should want is to be anonymous. The next to the last thing we should want is for a visitor to leave feeling anonymous.

Chris Benjamin arrives November 3rd, and his family moves later that month. The elders want him to focus on getting acquainted with you. Help him and Karen! Wear your name tag EVERY time you come.

You do not have a name tag? Tell us! We will make you one. You lost your name tag? Tell us! We will make you one. You have not placed membership? We would love to have you! We will wear name tags for you if you will wear one to help us!

We need two things. (1) Names for making tags. (2) Members who wear name tags. This Sunday we will have people stationed at each exit to receive names of those needing tags. If you do not have a name tag, give one of those persons your name. We gladly will make the tag! Please wear it!

Do it for Chris and Karen! Do for each other! Do it to reflect our God who cares!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 26 October 2003

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