28th May 2016

Process or People?

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
Matthew 23:23 (NKJV) 

One of the most annoying and irritating aspects of life today is dealing with large companies, such as utility or phone companies who seem to design their systems and train their people to frustrate their customers. First there is the telephone system—press 1 for this, 2 for that, 3 for something else and so on. Often having pressed the right number you then find you have to do so all over again with still further options. In some cases the system cuts out people completely and a recorded voice invites you to state what your problem is, which often invovles having to repeat yourself. Eventually, if you are lucky, you get through to a real live person. Often, however they can’t help you, because they are working from a script and are not allowed to use common sense to resolve your problem. So it is escalated to a case manager, and you then have to wait for them to call you. They generally will not give you a number to call them if the problem persists, so you have to go through the telephone system all over again.

Why does this happen when the company claims to be customer-focused and to care about its customers? Simply because companies and organizations are process-focused, not people-focused. They can employ fewer and less skilled people by being process-focused. They may outsource their call centre to a lower wage economy in another part of the world.

What has this to do with Christianty? Everything. As an example, the scripture above shows, the Pharisees were process-focused, not people-focused. They had 613 laws which you had to follow. That’s why Christ rebuked them and challenged them (Matthew 23:1-36) This highlights a danger for Churches, Ministers and Christians today. It’s too easy to become focused on a process and forget that Christianity is about having a relationship with God who is people-focused, so Ministers and Churches should also be people-focused. Firstly by having a close relationship with God, and then through that relationship developing relationships with the people in their congregations.

All Christians, in their everyday lives, should seek to be people-focused, not to bring people to church so they have contact with God, but to bring God to people by being a warm, friendly and caring light. Some may eventually respond and want to know more although most will not. But a day will come when they will know and understand that your relationship with them was a reflection of God’s desire to have a relationship with every human being.

Don’t let this world frustrate you into being process-focused. Always remember to be people-focused.

Loving Father, help us to become closer to you, to have a deeper relationship so we can be people-focused in our hearts and minds to reflect the light of Christ in all our relationships.

Study by Keith Hartrick


keithhartrickAbout the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association
Community Centre
Pendas Way

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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