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APR/MAY 2012 ISSUE 12
will pick up the baskets?
Customer service: the truth
Serving notice on entitlement
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VOICE OF THE PROPHET Sorry Jesus, but there is no one to pick up the baskets
HEART OF THE PASTOR
Serving notice on the spirit of entitlement Serving Christ by serving others
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
It breaks my heart! How much more it must break his? Service is Greatness Customer service - the truth of the matter Empowering yourself for service
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HAND OF THE HARVESTER
Make HIS mark on your world
ervice delivery is a huge issue for many people these days, and with consumers become more educated and more demanding, just being ‘good enough’ isn’t cutting it anymore. But service is a word with a host of other connotations too – for business, for governance, for our roles in the Church, and even at home. It’s time to shake this precious concept free of all the negative associations it’s acquired – and even of some of the lip-service we’ve paid to it in business circles – and take a serious look at why, who, where and how we serve. Jimmy Duguid challenges us with an article that deals with the spirit of entitlement which is rife in our world, nation, churches and homes. Gary Kelly’s article on servant leadership builds on Jimmy’s argument by pointing out that “Servant leaders emerge as true leaders when they realise that life is about what they continually give rather than what they get.” For Patrice Tsague from the USA, service is the key to success. Kim White from New Zealand brings the issue closer to home by pointing out what we miss out on when we are reluctant to serve in the Church. And in the business context, Adele Benvie gives us some delightful, practical tips on how to deliver service that will keep your customers coming back. Personally, I have seen that as I have served others, I have grown as a person and as a business owner. I am increasingly conscious of the fact that my gifts, talents and skills were placed in me for a mission and that mission is to serve others with it. As I do this, my satisfaction and fulfillment levels increase. We weren’t designed to be selfish; we were designed to love and serve others. And when we do it, it makes us feel ALIVE! And God gets the glory! A special friend of mine has been incredibly touched by Baby Reef, a little boy who has been battling graft-versus-host disease (we featured an editorial on Reef in our last issue). FOLLOW US ON TWITTER Twitter.com/Connectbizmag
This friend has decided to do a golf day to raise funds to help Reef’s parents pay some of the staggering bills required to make him well again. My friend told me the other day that serving this family has literally changed his life; that the reward he is getting out of doing this has been a satisfaction that his high-flying life has never given him. Bearing in mind that this same person has been to Bill Gates’ house for dinner, I’d say that speaks volumes. Another thing serving does is reveal your gifting. Each time I have stepped up to serve in my local church or even at work, I have learnt new skills and discovered giftings I didn’t realise I had. Serving the Working Women at our church stirred up my passion to encourage Marketplace Christians and you are holding the result of that in your hands. So get involved! Sitting in the pew in church, or behind your desk in a company or just taking a back seat in life will not open up your destiny. Roll up your sleeves, identify a need and get stuck in! There are plenty of opportunities for that outlined in these pages alone. We are made for community and when we are loving and serving others, we’re doing what we were born to do – glorifying our Savious Jesus and being His hands and feet in our world.
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. - Sir Winston Churchill
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VOICE OF THE PROPHET
‘Sorry Jesus but there is no one to pick up the baskets’
build the church with a little serving once f Jesus came back today I believe He in a while?” would not be surprised by the lack of Now I’m a server/administrator ‘signs and wonders’ but by the lack of extraordinaire (so my wife tells me) so serving in the church! I don’t have an issue with helping people There, I’ve said it – it’s out in the open out. But honestly, in the church today it’s and I’m not ashamed of it. Every pastor and more of a miracle to find ministry leader can come people serving than it out in the open with me is to see healing in the now – go on, don’t be But honestly, church. afraid. Say what’s really in the church And some of it is the on your mind – “Where today it’s more church’s fault. It’s the are all the people helping way we are building and me advance God’s of a miracle it’s the way people are Kingdom, or even where to find people understanding their roles. are all the faithful sons God gave me a and daughters helping me serving than revelation about this the it is to see other day. Matthew 16:18 says healing in that God is building His the church. church. And Psalm 127:1 also comments that “unless God builds the church”...we labour in vain, etc. But instead WE are building the church and the only career path for our people is believer, server, deacon, elder and then maybe church
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Photo: William Standler
When we set people free to be who God made them, then serving in the church comes from a motive of love, of sonship, of ownership – and not from expectation or pressure.
planter or apostolic team. Most people don’t see themselves on that path, so they don’t see any need to step up and help in the church – because if they do serve they will be fasttracked into leadership! So people sit and let those anointed (or silly enough like me) to serve, preach and clean the toilets every Sunday. They see their real calling outside the church – and to be honest, that is the point! God’s plan for us was not for us to build His church but to build and advance His Kingdom! Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first His Kingdom. When the church refocuses on helping its people find their talents and passions, equips them and releases them into the WORLD to be the light – the transforming power of God’s Kingdom in an increasingly dark world – then we will see
the minds and attitudes of our people change. So where does serving in the church come in? When we set people free to be who God made them, then serving in the church comes from a motive of love, of sonship, of ownership – and not from expectation or pressure. You see, under the Kingdom mandate we are to raise up ‘sons and daughters’ and these will care for and look after the Father’s house. Up until now, under the church mandate we have just built servants (and sometimes slaves). A servant does not own any ‘inheritance’ in the church, so does not commit him- or herself to its wellbeing and success. A son, on the other hand, recognises that the church is part of his/her inheritance and so willingly joins in to ensure the growth and www.connectmagazine.co.za | 7
VOICE OF THE PROPHET
on a sunny day, beach blankets and wellbeing of the family business – because comfy chairs – all gathered to listen to it’s also his inheritance. Jesus. Replace the blankets and put in On the other side of the spectrum, many rows of chairs and you get most Sunday churches are fully committed to producing church meetings. sons – but as the power of God manifests in So Jesus wants to feed them. He gathers their meetings, the new freedom and power a bit of bread and a few fish and gives being released is producing sons who thanks to His Father in ‘eat at the table’ but never heaven. The baskets are clean up after themselves. there, the food is there. Whatever your A servant does All is prepared for a great church or your personal not own any miracle. “Sorry Jesus,” experience, here are three says one of the disciples, key things to think about ‘inheritance’ in “there’s no one to hand as you consider how or the church, so out the food!” “Oh no,” if you can start helping/ does not commit Jesus cries, “how will the serving in your local people know there was a church. him- or herself miracle without someone Firstly Psalm 127:1 to its wellbeing giving out and collecting again. It suggests that WE the baskets? I’ll have to should be labouring, but and success. rewrite John’s gospel on the Lord’s work. A son, on the somehow!” Secondly, for those on other hand, You want to see the ‘manifest presence miracles in your local and power’ journey, God recognises that church – it does not gave me Acts12:13-16. the church is happen without serving! Basically there is a really You want to find your cool prayer meeting part of his/her passion and calling for going on with everybody inheritance and your ministry in the world praying for Peter’s release so willingly joins – become a ‘son’ in the from prison. Miraculously house and help the Peter is released and in to ensure local church. comes to the house. A the growth and Without serving there lady called Rhonda goes would be no miracles. to the door when Peter wellbeing of the knocks but the people family business – don’t believe her and go on praying. Without because it’s also Rhonda taking the time his inheritance. to open the door, no-one would have known about Peter’s release. Where are the door openers in the church? Thirdly, for the more traditional churches where many people sit around watching the service and then doing nothing, God gave me the story of the Kim White loaves and fishes in John 6:1-14. Picture this. Horizon Church, NZ Crowds of people laying back on the grass www.dreamingwithpurpose.co.nz 8 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
HEART OF THE PASTOR
Serving notice on the Spirit of
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hen I was a kid I saw a picture of children in Entitlement? Not me! German after World War II, The Spirit of Entitlement is more dragging a cart full of money. It was insidious than you think. You can see worth less than Monopoly money, it in all spheres of life, and NO area of and they were using life is exempt from it – it as toilet paper. Just family, church, business, recently I was reminded government. Here are My hero, Nelson of that picture again, some examples: and it got me thinking.... Mandela, came • As a father, are you What was it about entitled to rest as soon into power in Germany and Japan that, as you get home from after the devastation of 1994. Was he work? For sure! But just the war, caused them to look at your wife and entitled to a supergrow to the economic kids’ reaction when you and technological generous salary – don’t give them an ear, powerhouses that they or lend a helping hand maybe even are today? Think about around the house. it – how did those two a huge gift for The Spirit of Entitlement nations that were the stirs up resentment! all those years cause of so much loss to the whole world, return • As the owner of of his life he lost as two of the a small business, are while in prison? top nations in the world? you entitled to all Now there must the profits from the For sure! But be many factors business? For sure! what did he do? contributing to this, but But what will your one jumped up in my employees get up to In his humility he mind – both nations when they see that united a nation. were greatly humbled! you do not take care of There was no, as I call them as you should? it, Spirit of Entitlement. Productivity might The more I look around, drop, people might the more evidence I see of this. Look at take sick leave when they are not sick, Mozambique. or they might help themselves to Their civil war was the cause of great company assets. All this to compensate loss and suffering, compounded for their resentment. by the natural disasters they • If you were a senior government have experienced over the official, would you be entitled to some past few years...yet they are ‘gifts’ from those who support you? powering forward For sure! But think about how those as a nation. under you see those ‘gifts’. The Spirit of Entitlement will spread, and in the areas that you are responsible for, you will see corruption growing and money and assets going ‘missing’ on a regular basis.
HEART OF THE PASTOR
My hero, Nelson Mandela, came into It’s only when power in 1994. Was we recognise he entitled to a supergenerous salary – maybe it and take even a huge gift for all responsibility for those years of his life he lost while in prison? For our own lives as sure! But what did he South Africans, do? In his humility he united a nation. There that we will rise was promise and hope to become the for everyone. As he pioneered a way for us powerhouse we to rise like Germany and were meant to be. Japan did, there was no reason why we could not do so much more than them. Yet now, nearly twenty years later, we are A way to nowhere near where we counteract should have been. So what happened the Spirit of to us? Actually, if we are Entitlement is to honest with ourselves, we must admit that we serve one another. have all contributed to this situation in some measure. In my own life I have let the Spirit of Entitlement creep in and let it erode who I am. It’s only when we recognise it and take responsibility for our own lives as South Africans, that we will rise to become the powerhouse we were meant to be.
Serve, and see the difference
When we speak of service, the essence of the word is “serve”. A way to counteract the Spirit of Entitlement is to serve one another. How this looks depends on the context of your life. How do you serve your family? How do you serve your employer or employees? How do you serve your neighbour? You decide what that measure looks like. There are so many people, like Nelson Mandela, who have served us in so much, to give us all a chance at becoming who we were meant to be. Let’s serve one another, reach into our future, and bring it into the present.
Jimmy Duguid Pastor at Highway Christian Community email@example.com
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HEART OF THE PASTOR
Serving Christ BY SERVING OTHERS
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believe that you can’t lead and serve at the same time. To be honest, nothing could be further from the truth.
The heart of servant leadership
If leading and serving simultaneously (otherwise known as servant leadership) sounds like a contradiction in terms, then it would be appropriate to consider what Jesus said to his twelve disciples as He sent them out: “Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it” (Matthew 10:30, Good News Bible). Servant leadership is not some type of new terminology thought out over the years, but rather something that flows out of the perspective that Jesus offered to each of us. When the disciples were jockeying for position and concerned about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus was straightforward in His response: “But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant” (Luke 22:26, New Living Translation). When things go well for the typical performance-driven or positional leaders, they tend to look in the mirror, beat their chests and tell themselves how good they are. When things go wrong they look out the window and blame everyone else. On the other hand, when things go well for servant leaders, they always give everyone else the credit. When things go Standler
erving and leading’ has always been a point of controversy, especially within the body of Christ. True leadership, according to God’s Word, involves being a servant. John Rosenblum once said, “Servant leadership at its heart is openness, an ability to listen and an ability to speak in a way that engages people directly affected by the choices to be made. It positively encourages commitment….” What is being implied by this statement is the following: Servant leaders nurture and develop a greater commitment on the part of the people that they lead/serve. John 13:12-17 in The Message tells us that “After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table. Then he said, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master’, and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it – and live a blessed life.” Many people don’t understand that being a leader has two distinct aspects: vision and implementation. Because of this many people – and especially positional leaders –
wrong or don’t go according to plan, servant leaders look in the mirror and ask questions such as “What could I have done differently that would have allowed these people to be as great as they could be?” Too many leaders today think that their position and the power it gives them is who they are. But that’s not entirely true. Their authority is not gained or achieved from position; but rather from the people whose lives they continue to touch. Servant leaders emerge as true leaders when they realise that life is about what they continually give rather than what they get. Ultimately, Jesus Christ came to earth not as the example for mankind but rather the example of mankind. Through His example we have been instructed in Ephesians 5:1 “to be imitators of Christ” and duly authorised to serve and to meet the needs of other people. Often this means assuming “a position” in the eyes of men, but we are not to revel in this. If we find ourselves in a position of
man-made authority, our focus should be on doing everything with the intention of serving, even if that means making decisions for others. In conclusion it would be a grievous error to state that a servant leader merely waits for others to take the initiative, is timid or does not know what to do. A servant leader is a true leader; one whose mission includes building and empowering followers instead of just using them.
Gary Kelly Campus Pastor Doxa Deo Pinetown Campus firstname.lastname@example.org
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
It breaks MY HEART!
HOW MUCH MORE MUST IT BREAK HIS?
To all who claim to be Christian, my challenge to you is that your â€˜serviceâ€™ should actually start on leaving the church door and end when you return a week later for an hour, to be fed the Word and be refuelled and encouraged for the days ahead.
Africa, doing missionary work as the Southern Africa Director of an exceptional programme which reaches out to poor and marginalised communities. From cities to the most rural of areas, we visited those unfortunate enough to live in places where extreme poverty and every form of abuse and more can be found. During these travels, I attended many different church services. Individual Christians and some churches are serving and doing amazing and awesome work, and this
Photo: Alex Bruda
outh Africa, with all its beauty and abundant resources, is our gift from God. It is a land of great potential; a land with more than enough to provide for everyone. Yet the true beauty and potential of our rainbow nation eludes us. We have a myriad of problems and many apparently irreversible negatives which would take pages to list, and volumes to unpack. For the past four years, I travelled extensively and worked throughout South
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households are not only in distant other African must surely please the Lord. There are many countries, they can probably be found within 1 to other church bodies, however, which sadly are 10km of where you are sitting right now! nothing more than ‘fair-weather, inexpensive Our very neighbours are in extreme distress, coffee clubs’. To all who claim to be Christian, but we generally say and do nothing. Maybe my challenge to you is that your ‘service’ should because it’s because we don’t believe we can do actually start on leaving the church door and anything real to change the situation. But we end when you return a week later for an hour, can! We have the power of to be fed the Word and be God, the power of the Word, refuelled and encouraged for and the power of numbers. the days ahead. The bottom You are never We have no excuse, really. line, regrettably, is that the too old, too young, Many churches and majority of us (the writer Christians do not get included) should be doing a too poor, too involved for a number of lot more to serve our Saviour insignificant to semi-valid, but usually who gave everything for us. totally invalid reasons. And For some, the mandate make a difference. unfortunately, many wellgiven in the Bible to look Look at the people meaning interventions after the poor and the needy Jesus used; He can unintentionally perpetuate comes down to probably one the problems rather than in five dropping off a can of certainly use fix them. Simply by ‘doing baked beans in the box at the you now! good’ and delivering handchurch door before taking outs to the poor (like clothing the family to mid-morning and food, although they are brunch, often costing desperately needed), we are creating a situation hundreds of rands. I’m not sure that is what Jesus which – linked to the Government’s burdensome, actually wanted! top-heavy and ever-increasing social grant Today, we are a country which at so many approaches – is developing a nation of beggars levels parallels the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. and victims... and a stack of cards which must We all know the sins those cities were guilty of, collapse some day. and their outcome. Some might smugly say, It is my contention, working in unbearable “Yes, but not me!” However, let us re-read Ezekiel situations as I have, that many Christians do more 16:49. One Bible translation puts it so: “Behold, damage than good to the name of Jesus, when this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her their only contribution is to tell starving people daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous that “Jesus loves you”. Honestly, these people ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” Ouch! sometimes have to cut short their visit so that That may be a bit too close to home for some of they can go and have their lunch! us. It is also a clear reflection of our country, its My primary aim then is to tell you briefly leaders and their wasteful excesses (and those in about a holistic solution which focuses on needs many other parts of the world too). where and when they are required. It moves I have held babies, children and adults who away from many traditional approaches such are dying from starvation, preventable illnesses as the hand-out approach. It restores pride and and HIV/AIDS. Yet the inertia is astounding! The dignity (the right sort), and it is a 100% breaklack of action is criminal and often genocidal! away from the growing entitlement approach, Elderly pensioners in rural areas are being adopting instead a ‘nothing-for-nothing’ left with grandchildren whose parents have attitude. The only thing that is 100% free is God’s succumbed; and desperately poor, child-headed
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
real life experiences with wasteful, ineffective, undeserved grace and mercy! This intervention duplicated programmes which resulted in is structured and co-ordinated, thereby avoiding unsustainable interventions with minimal longduplication and wastage. It is very practical and term benefit to the target communities. They implementable. It could literally change lives and were simply good ideas whilst the money lasted the world. BUT, only if you get involved! – and there were no downstream benefits the It is my hope and prayer that the rest of day the money died! I can show you thousands this article excites you, and makes you want to of these. get involved, directly or indirectly, individually, U3 Trust came about through a combination corporately or as an entire church, school or organisation. You are never too old, too young, of much prayer and simply listening to the too poor, too insignificant voices of the ‘voiceless’. to make a difference. Look Prior to working within the at the people Jesus used; He NGO environment where For some, the can certainly use you now! In my practical knowledge mandate given in fact some of the greatest and understanding grew, my experience in senior role models I have seen have the Bible to look management within a absolutely nothing after the poor tertiary institution laid the of worldly value. base-rock of my study. The You do not have to go far and the needy cube of U3 represents a to do great mission works. comes down to Just think of the impact we physical space, ie. the entire probably one in can have on this country, local community to be its people and its future, helped. The 4 U’s of the Trust five dropping off both now and for eternity, if refer to Upcycle, Upskill, a can of baked every Christian got involved Upscale and finally Uplifting in one way or another. Of the entire community. The beans in the box course, money and many raised three (3) also reminds at the church door resources are needed (if 1 one, when deeply involved before taking the million Christians contributed in the trenches, to look up just R10 per month, we to the power of three – the family to midwould have R10 million per Trinity – and above all else, to morning brunch, month to make phenomenal give thanks and praise. changes!).Of course people, A huge component of oftencosting skills and expertise are also the thinking behind U3 Trust hundreds of rands. needed. Networking and is to be good stewards and referrals are absolutely to maximise resources and essential too. Most outcomes whilst minimising importantly, prayer, awareness and advocacy, dependency, wastage and failure. To date, all action and commitment, together with service funding has come from my pocket and from a number of micro- and small businesses I am to and for our Lord Jesus, are called for. setting up specifically to help fund the work we do, instead of simply standing there with ABOUT U3 TRUST the begging bowl ourselves. But I cannot fund U3 Trust (said U-cubed Trust) is a brand new it alone! It needs national roll-out to have any Trust and is also in the process of becoming a impact. It is purposely not linked to, nor a threat registered NGO/NPO. To some extent, it was to, any denomination – it will not take away born out of ‘on-the-ground’ frustrations and
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members, in fact it will grow members when its relevance is seen. Simply put: “You follow and believe in Christ Jesus, it’s for you!” This becomes abundantly clear when you see the full PowerPoint presentation which I am happy to present on invite, anywhere in the country. Because it looks at the entire community (non-paternalistically) starting with their primary needs and then placing interventions that grow in parallel and exponentially, a huge and broadbased impact and tangible, noticeable and sustainable change can be seen in a very short time-frame. Through the Trust’s strong skills and entrepreneurial slant, grassroots and micro/small businesses are started, nurtured and supported as well. These create jobs instead of adding burdens and frustrations where work-related opportunities simply do not exist. The ‘pay-itforward’ approach allows it to add vibrant colour and hope to otherwise desolate communities, providing care and dignity for all – especially woman, children and the elderly. If only you could meet some of the exceptional human beings called Gogos, you would be persuaded! Crafts and skills, work and self-worth, human dignity and respect for self and others give recipients real, dignified hope and purpose – something they really thank God for! And as their primary needs are met, their spiritual needs are also attended to more meaningfully!
You are invited to help make this country a better place for all – to give hope for the future and to give praise, honour and glory to our God. It is not and will never be about me, the founder and the person entrusted with the vision. Without God, nothing is possible, and all glory to Him alone! However, if we do not stand up soon, someone or something else will – that must be abundantly clear to everyone by now. It breaks my heart, regularly. It breaks His heart, I am 100% sure of that. It will probably break your heart, too. The good news is GOOD NEWS in that you get a renewed heart, passion and purpose as you resolve to really, deeply and profoundly, serve. With a can-do approach, let us stand and show what Afri-can-do!
Richard Northmore 082 455 1959 email@example.com www.u3trust.co.za If you want electronic copies of leaflets pertaining to the wide and growing range of products and services we offer, which you may wish to support, please ask.
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HAND OF THE HARVESTER
Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant” - Mark 10:43
service is being lost in our culture today. merican business philosopher Jim Rohn Politicians are no longer viewed as public once stated that “Whoever renders servants, employees are service to many puts no longer loyal servants, himself in line for greatness government workers are – great wealth, great Service is the no longer civil servants, return, great satisfaction, prerequisite to and entrepreneurs great reputation, and all worthwhile are more committed great joy.” Service is the to serving the mighty hallmark to success, a life of achievement. dollar than serving their fulfillment and significance. Unfortunately the customers. The challenge Although not all servants with service is that those are necessarily leaders art of service is in positions of leadership by position or financially being lost in our are more interested in wealth, all great leaders the perks of the position and those who consider culture today. than the responsibility. themselves financially Moreover, those who are not wealthy must be servants. in leadership resist service because they believe Service is the prerequisite to all worthwhile it undermines them and they view those who achievement. Unfortunately the art of
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
We do not serve because it will bring us into greatness, we serve because service alone is greatness. serve as the least valued in society. Service is an unconditional act done on behalf of another without expectation or above expectation. A servant is an individual with an inner conviction to consider the needs of others before his or her own. Jesus Christ, the greatest leader who ever lived, modeled service for us by providing the greatest act of service that anyone could ever provide. He laid down His life for humanity and instructed His disciples to do as He did. He made it clear that as He came to serve and not be served, those who consider themselves His disciples must do likewise – for he who wants to be great must first serve. What about those whose service within an organisation or a community may never ascend to a leadership responsibility, no matter how faithful they are… or those who may never attain a wealthy status no matter how well they serve? What then is their motivation to serve? Remember: service is unconditional.
We do not serve because it will bring us into greatness, we serve because service alone is greatness. Great people serve no matter what their position within the organisation and service affirms your greatness rather than brings you into greatness. Greatness is not a position but an attitude. You are great no matter what your position, your social or economic status is. You are great because you are a child of God. God made you great, He created you in His image and likeness. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and that makes you great. Service does not diminish your greatness; rather it brings dignity to your acts of service because God made you great. If God created us in His image and likeness and expects us to serve with dignity, how should we approach service? 1. Serve as unto the Lord. 2. Serve with a submissive spirit. 3. Serve with a heart of obedience. 4. Serve with a sincere heart. 5. Serve with confidence. 6. Serve according to God’s will. 7. Serve with the expectation that God will reward you. Unfortunately, no matter how great a servant you are in your business or place of employment, it may go unnoticed or unappreciated. You could even be taken advantage of, but do not let that deter you from exercising your act of greatness. Servants serve not for the rewards of men or their applause but for the internal satisfaction of having served and for the expectation that the One who gave them life will reward them. My prayer for you today is that you will double up your service and go the extra mile, bringing dignity to everything you do.
Copyright © 2012 Patrice Tsague All rights reserved www.nehemiahproject.org www.connectmagazine.co.za | 23
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
Customer Service The Truth of the Matter
Customers vote with their feet
In the past, unhappy customers just disappeared – they never told us why they were not using our business anymore, but they told others and took current and potential customers with them. The scary reality is that only 1 in every 10 unhappy customers actually complains to the business. The other 9 just disappear. To make matters worse, stats tell us that every unhappy customer will tell 9 other people why they are unhappy. If 9 out of 10 don’t tell you why they are leaving, and they each tell 9 others, that is 81 current and potential customers lost to your business. Can you afford that kind of loss? Okay, let’s move onto some positive stuff. There are some really powerful aspects to consider so that you can avoid creating unhappy customers and ensure customer loyalty and sustainability. It really is not too difficult, but most companies only do these things when they 24 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
lose customers in large numbers – and then it’s often too little, too late. Looking after customers is a daily activity that needs our priority focus. Our customers are the reason for our business’s entire existence! It is their needs that we are meeting! If we look after our customers really well, they in turn will tell others about our great service. The stats tell us that 1 happy customer tells about 5 people about great service in a 12-24 month period of time. Out of those 5, 2 may request your service. That means that for every 1 client you currently have, you could get another 3 customers. Take your current client base and multiply that number of customers by 3. How would your business look if, within 12-24 months, you had that many customers? Wow, now you are seeing the power of great service!
Adele Benvie firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Pit Klad
he last decade has seen a definite increase in customers’ service expectations. With more and more people being exposed to international standards through trade and travel, and with our culture of instant gratification diminishing our patience and tolerance, our customers are expecting more and more from us and our businesses. This challenge has a definite positive aspect to it: our customers are voicing what they want!
A capable, intelligent, and Five tips for top service
Here are some key items to focus on to ensure customer loyalty:
Get rid of the war between Sales and After Sales (Customer Service). You are one team! The promises of the Sales people are proven (or disproven) through customers’ After Sales experience. Similarly, good After Sales service helps Sales because it’s what drives a company’s reputation in the marketplace.
Focus equal attention on Retaining and Attaining new customers. We often focus so much on winning new customers that we lose our current ones! We have to retain our current customers and then attain new customers in order to grow our businesses.
Pay special attention to Reliability. I have found that Reliability is the key aspect to customer loyalty – often over and above price. Be a company that your customers can rely on, no matter what.
Ask your customers what they love and hate about your business at least every 6 months. Keep the things they love and change what they don’t like – quickly!
Train, train, train. Never stop training your staff to know how to handle customers and treat them. When you stop learning, you get complacent – and that’s when your service levels start to slide. As you implement these five simple items, your current customers will become an extension of your sales team. You will be amazed as you watch the incredible result of exponential customer growth. And, if you keep to your strategy, you’ll have a customer base that will keep your business thriving far into the future.
[ b]virtuous woman--who The Proverbs 31 Page is
This page serves to honour the women who choose to work from home to answer he who can find her? She is the noble call of full-time homemaker. Just like the mothers who have answered the call into the marketplace, many jewels of far more precious than these women have micro-businesses which allow them to use their talents and giftings earn extra For and herandvalue ismoney. far above as little as R195 per month you could be CONNECTED to a market that will support rubies heart your productor andpearls.The service. Call Sherrene on 082 456 0348 to find out more.
of her husband trusts in her
con fidently and relies on and
believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts,
encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. S loaded with food from a far [country]
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HAND OF THE HARVESTER
Empowering yourself for service I
So instead of empathetic, compassionate t was Martin Luther King Jr. who once and influential leaders, we are exposed to said, “Not everyone can be famous but manipulative, egotistically detached dictators. everyone can be great because greatness It is my belief that there is a destiny is a matter of service. Likewise, in times past, that made each of us individually as well men were entrusted with power as a result as collectively necessary. But if you do not of their passion, vision and propensity to know who you are, there serve. Also, leaders were is no way that you will established as an answer A servant does embrace the fact that there to a particular need and is a destiny and a purpose as a response to a specific not own any that you were designed function. In our current ‘inheritance’ in and empowered to fulfill. reality there is an erroneous You were not created the church, so concept that only the as an experiment of an least among us can serve, does not commit omnipotent, omniscient because we have reduced him- or herself God! God is purposeful service to servitude. and strategic, and in Yet if any man shall to its wellbeing His infinite wisdom has consider himself to be and success. created you for such a time great he must first become as this. Even before the a servant. Jesus, the A son, on the foundations of the earth, supreme embodiment other hand, you were pre-destined of leadership, has recognises that for a specific purpose that introduced to us the true no one else can realise. characteristics of being the church is This thought removes a leader. Therefore, an part of his/her your excuse to be hateful, effective leader is a servant envious or jealous. leader. Servant leadership inheritance and Believing and knowing is not a new idea; but as so willingly joins that you were created a result of conceit and in to ensure for a particular purpose self-interest, men have encourages you to identify perverted the original the growth and and develop your unique concept of leadership. wellbeing of the TAG (talent, ability and As a consequence, we find gift), thus empowering that we are led by people family business – you to maximise your who do not have a passion because it’s also potential and optimise to serve people but rather his inheritance. every opportunity. You a desire to be served. 28 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
Believing and knowing that you were created for a particular purpose encourages you to identify and develop your unique TAG (talent, ability and gift), thus empowering you to maximise your potential and optimise every opportunity.
should be so occupied with achieving your Godgiven obligations that you do not have the time to be resentful or indignant towards anyone else. Furthermore, it’s only after we have discovered who we really are that we can live our life passionately and deliberately. By discovering and developing our peculiarities, we are better equipped to serve our uniqueness to the world and make a significant contribution to our generation. When you know the reason for your existence, you will begin to live a purpose-driven life and money will no longer be your master. Moreover, whenever your self-perception and self-worth improve to the point that you are willing to serve yourself to the world, life will reward you disproportionately. It’s not always about how much money you can make but rather about the service you can provide. Moreover, if you find a need and fulfill it, the money will follow; but if you follow the money and forsake the need you will lose it all and sink into the abyss of obscurity and obsoleteness. Old assessments will never yield new revenue. You have to evolve without digressing from your core principles. Productivity requires cross-pollination. It is within our differences that we are most fruitful. John Donne also alluded to our need to exchange our ideas, concepts and our life when he said that “No man is an island”. Yet we are almost offended by the need to cater for the needs of people
who are different from us – forgetting that our growth and development depends on our surrounding ourselves with people who do not compete with us but rather complete and complement us. Whoever you are inclined to be around represents who you are, which is why they say “Birds of a feather flock together” and “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are”. We don’t attract who we like, but rather who are like us. Nelson Mandela said, “Whether you change the linen or stitch up wounds, cook the food or dispense the medicines, it is in your hands to help build a public service worthy of all those who gave their lives for the dream of democracy”. This quandary about service can be addressed by a shift in our consciousness as we embrace this concept in the scriptures that states, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Ultimately service is an expression of love.
Becoming Who We Are Meant To Be
magine a city without people living on the streets, struggling to find food or shelter. Imagine a city where all are employed and have a sense of purpose in their lives. A city with very little crime. A city that embraces diversity and the marginalised and brings about real, sustainable change. This is the Durban that God wants. And this is the Durban we see possible.
The “We are Durban” initiative was born in 2009 out of a desire to make a real change in our city. Though there were many organisations doing good work already, many of them were battling with a lack of volunteers, structure and good management. It wasn’t our vision to reinvent the wheel or duplicate what others were already doing, but to come alongside them and offer what we already had – access to people who want to help. We believe in
empowering individuals to volunteer, and in combining together to give back to the society we live in, working together to make Durban all it can be. Our aim is to release Durban’s potential to shine. There are approximately 200 kids living on the streets of Durban at any one time, and far more
than that are exposed to negative influences as a result of poor supervision. And there are over 2000 homeless adults in Durban: 83% Male, 92% Black, and 65% South Africans. Less than a quarter can afford to stay in shelters. These people – and the many others who are unemployed – need our intervention. Spiritually parented by the Olive Tree Church in Morningside, our work is driven by a mission to ensure social justice (human rights, dignity and equality) for the marginalised people of our city… and in the process to show them the tangible love of our Saviour Jesus. Our activities are hands-on – ranging from event-type assistance like Children’s Home garden cleanups and home-building, to volunteering for other social justice-related organisations in the area. We also raise and allocate funds to support local social upliftment projects, and we provide a legal structure through which these funds can be sourced and channeled to fund the activities.
We believe that every resident and business in Durban has been given influence to bring about sustainable change in our city. If we work together we CAN eliminate poverty, unemployment, and marginalisation.
If all you have is a small amount of time a day, a week or a month – there are a number of ‘event-type’ volunteer opportunities available (have a look at our webpage, www.wearedurban. com for details). For those with specific skills, we are always looking for people who can donate some time to organisations or projects – our latest one being the Qalakahle ECD (Early Child Development) Centre in the Mansell Road market
area. Builders, engineers, plumbers, electricians, doctors, nurses, web designers, book keepers, admin assistants… if you have a skill and some time to donate, there is something in Durban that you can do. A project of this nature requires funding for a number of reasons. Each ‘event’ we co-ordinate is always paid for by ourselves and does not require any financial input by the NGO we are assisting or the people who benefit. We also employ people to ensure continuity of services and a high standard of accountability is maintained. Our current partners are Olive Tree Church, TDH (The Development House), McCord Hospital, Umthombo, Impendulo Community Project, Unilever and VUM. We would love you to consider partnering with us as a business or as an individual. Every bit counts, and I dare say it counts as much for the people we assist as for ourselves! To give you an idea what I mean, I’ll close with a few of the comments of our volunteers who have been
children I turn away at the robots, some dressed in just an oversized t-shirt, I was nervous at how they would respond to us. I couldn’t have anticipated a warmer welcome! There was absolutely no hostility towards us, only welcoming smiles, laughs and conversation. Like any 10-14 year old child, they were curious of us, wanted to play around and have a good time! When time came to go home, there were heartfelt hugs all round, they were sad to see us leave…. It was a humbling experience and I felt I had made a small difference, given those kids hope in some way. Hats off to Umthombo for taking children off the street into a home with a lounge, kitchen and beds to sleep. (Clair-Louise Mortimer – volunteer, Fun Night at Umthombo, November 2011) The last word must go to Athenkosi Koyana who, on witnessing the 2011 Olive Tree Sewing School graduation ceremony, commends the spirit of unity and love that unites the volunteers and the ladies they teach to sew. “The reality,” says Athenkosi, “is that in order to have a renewal of
blown away by the blessing that their work has brought them.
mindset, it starts with the individual; are we being the change we would like to see in our city? It’s no use to have conversations at dinner parties asking these questions. There is so much we can learn from each other, but we need to be vulnerable to volunteer because when we give of ourselves we open room in our hearts to receive. The need is great in Durban but we can’t change it with one grand gesture.” It takes you, me, a Godly discontentment with the way things are, and a love for others that Jesus will use to turn our water into His wine. Just you give it a try.
“The first time we were told we were going to be serving dinner at The Nest, I was NERVOUS. When I walked up the stairs, and into the doors, the nervousness intensified! What were these people like, what if they were dirty or try rob us? How naïve! As we served dinner, home cooked Spaghetti Bolognese, we saw the people for what they really were, normal people who have had been knocked down by life circumstances.… I thoroughly enjoyed my fellowship time with the people I chatted to that evening. I was humbled by them and realised how ungrateful I have been in my own life. (Megan Bosh – volunteer at The Nest Commune, November 2011) When I heard we were going to Umthombo I was excited. I love kids, and I was keen to play around and have some fun! However when I got there and realised these were the same street
If you would like to get involved in any way, please email Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 079 6936 219. Dave Gould email@example.com www.connectmagazine.co.za | 31
service |'sÉ™rvis| noun 1 the action of helping or doing work for someone: millions are involved in voluntary service.
â€˘ an act of assistance: he has done us a great service | he volunteered his services as a driver. â€˘ assistance or advice given to customers during and after the sale of goods: they aim to provide better quality of service.