WHAT'S THE GREATEST QUESTION A MINISTRY or BUSINESS CAN ASK?
In this world you will have numbers. Some numbers make up your bottom line and some numbers represent people. Is there a way to put people first and still remain profitable? How do you make your company look like a good investment by listening? Those are good questions, but they aren't the most important question.
Several weeks ago I had a meeting with someone who represented a possible collaboration with our non-profit ministry called Youth With A Purpose. Being a non-profit does not preclude you from needing to represent yourself as a good investment. We are a ministry for inner-city young people. Our numbers reflect our success rate at keeping young people alive, out of jail, in school and helping them become contributing members of society. The person I met with was someone who could get involved in our ministry in a number of ways. I have to admit, my preparation for the meeting was wrong.
With my administrative hat on, my goal was to persuade this business person to come along side YWAP and share his time, talents and treasures. My focus was on what I could receive and bring as a benefit to our young people. Within five minutes of our meeting, the Holy Spirit dropped a heart nugget into my thoughts. "Just be a friend." I took a deep breath and my whole approach to the meeting changed. I looked at this business person as a friend with the same needs and desires as anyone else we serve.
Later that week I had a meeting with our Board President Eric Budin. He made a statement that has altered the future course of the YWAP ministry that's reached over 100,000 young people in the last 15 years. Let me paraphrase what I heard Eric say. "The people we invite to share in our ministry as collaborators are also hungry to grow and be ministered to." He set me to a new way of thinking. All of us have different levels and areas of expertise and we qualify as teachers in those areas. It's time to share.
Those two meetings left me infused with a new perspective. I was hungry to put that perspective into action. The next week, God gave me several opportunities. In the first meeting, the Holy Spirit gave me a question to ask at the meeting. That was a private question and after I followed through with what God had spoken to me, I knew why. There was a need to be ministered to that was outside the parameters of our business meeting. In my second meeting, God gave me the most important question. It's just a very simple; "How can I help you?"
If you were waiting for some rocket science, I apologize, but we serve a simple God. If you pause and ask that question with an open heart, the results might improve your ROI or Return On Investment. What can you invest in another human being? Give without needing to receive a return and the results will be immeasurable.
You may have an appointment to do business or maybe that business person has been put in your path for another reason. Maybe they have a need for you to show some listening compassion. Take your eyes off the bottom line and seek first the welfare of another human being. Is it more important to make a sale or save a soul?
I'm the Director of Youth With A Purpose, "How may I help you?" "Can we pray for you?" 716-83-8240, firstname.lastname@example.org, 157 Locust St. Buffalo, NY 14204
Thanks for your time. Go do something nice for somebody.