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"Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless His name; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.  Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.  For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens.  Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.  Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts.  Worship the Lord in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.  Say among the nations, 'The Lord reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.'  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; Let the sea roar, and all it contains;  Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy  Before the Lord, for He is coming; For He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, And the peoples in His faithfulness."
I'm not proud of what happened, actually, I'm a little embarrassed to tell you about it, but it happened. It began as one of those days that I wanted to be perfect-my expectations were very high. I wanted Mother's Day to be perfect for Susan, which may of contributed to why I was so dissatisfied with the service. With Stephen on leave from the Navy, the whole family had the chance to sit down and eat a meal together for the first time in what seemed forever, so I wanted everything to go right. On the way to Salinas, to one of Susan's favorite places to eat, we called from the car to see how long the wait was-it was too long and they didn't take reservations so we went to plan "B." After driving through the parking lots of several other spots, we settled for about our 5th or 6th choice. We were seated quickly and everything progressed nicely until the waitress came by to take our order. One mistake followed another-I asked for the same thing on three different visits to the table-she never brought it. Jamie asked for another Coke and she walked past the table without even acknowledging he'd spoken to her. She was obviously having a bad day, but I wasn't sympathetic. Partly because of my expectations for the meal, but partly because it was obvious by her attitude that she didn't care. So I did something I've never done before, I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. I explained the situation to her and asked her to assign another waitress to our table, which she did. The only thing I can think of that is worse than having a waitress ignore me in a restaurant is having one come by every two minutes to get a play-by-play analysis of every bite, which, of course, is what happened. The super aggressive service combined with the feeling deep down inside that I was a jerk for complaining in the first place made the entire "celebration" unbearable. We finished our meal, I left a generous tip and we left.
When I spoke to the manager, I had a sense of entitlement. After all, I was paying good money for this experience. It wasn't just the food I was buying; it was the atmosphere good service-the overall ambiance. I felt they "owed" me and should "cater" to me. That's the law of the consumerism jungle-the customer is always right. Our satisfaction is guaranteed. If we aren't completely satisfied, we want a refund, whether we kept the receipt or not-and by and large, businesses are accommodating and do whatever it takes to keep us satisfied and coming back. Businesses target a demographic group, discover their needs, and then cater an experience that meets their needs. It is an efficient formula for growth and success.
Why am I telling you this story? Unfortunately, the church has bought
into the same philosophy and has become consumer driven, and it is easy
for us to see this as an organization to cater to our needs instead of
a ministering organization where we are the ministers. Twenty years ago
or so, it became vogue to go out and take a survey of the community, find
out what they wanted in a church, then start a church in the image Thank
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