Once every other month on a Friday night, my wife and myself join one of two teams from our Sunday School class and serve at a local homeless shelter. Well, it’s much more than a “homeless shelter”, its’ goal is “to move people from homelessness to permanent housing”. Our role, while we are there, is to work the cafeteria line and serve the food, OR IS IT. I have been thinking about it and what the word “serve” means. http://www.merriam-webster.com/ gives as the primary definition “to give (food or drink) to someone at a meal, in a restaurant, etc.”. Sure, we do that, but if you dig down a little into the definition you find some other interesting aspects of “serving”. a) “to be a servant to“, b) “to give the service and respect due to”, c)”to furnish or supply with something needed or desired”, d) “to answer the needs of”. Isn’t “serving ” so much more that just handing out food?
I think that the third definition is the most telling “to furnish or supply with something needed or desired”. If we are going to the ministry to serve, are we supplying the individuals there with something they need or desire?
Certainly food is maybe a primary need, but there is an opportunity to serve the individuals in many other ways. Giving respect, looking someone in the eye, being cheerful and encouraging and accepting, there are a significant number of different ways to serve individuals. There is so much more to serving than just handing out food.
And, even more telling, is serving those that we serve with. Estell is the ministry individual that runs the kitchen area and does an incredible job. Day after day, she works with countless volunteer groups and individuals that come and go. It has been fun to get to know her a little bit and start to work on finding out what serving her means. What are her “needs and desires”?
I’m sure than we do a very inadequate job of truly serving the individuals that we come in contact with in the short time we are engaged at the shelter, but I need to make it my goal to look at serving in terms of the whole picture!!
But wait, there’s more. Let’s transfer those thoughts to the business world and McDonald Containers. If we say we want to “serve our customers”. What does that mean?
Is all we are doing is just serving up products? Is that the extent of it? I hope not. Our goal needs to be serving in the broadest sense. To be a great company or supplier, we need to do so much more than just “serve up products”. We need to “to answer the needs of”. That need may be product today, but tomorrow it may be some advice on where to find cremation tags or the best place to look for the address of the Swiss Consulate.
In order to deserve your business and be worthy of the confidence we want you to place in us, we are striving to meet all the definitions of serving. It is our goal to improve every day in that quest to serve.
How are we doing? We want you to tell us if our service level is where you need it to be. Are your needs being met in the areas that you trust us with? PLEASE, give us call and let us know, drop a note on this post, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment on the website at http://www.mcdonaldcontainers.com.