God As Our Ultimate Customer

by Lee Buford on April 15, 2010

The thought of God as anyone’s “customer” is shocking to say the least. I am aware of that. And before you dismiss the analogy give some thought to greater perspective below.

God is unquestionably the holy, sovereign, almighty King of the universe!

From a true customer’s perspective, you and I offer nothing of need to Him. Note the word “need.” He IS…period. And He will never be any more of any of these attributes or qualities as a result of anything we could do, add, or provide.

That said, I began to consider this relationship based on some recent conversations around the idea of customer service and meeting the needs and/or desires of customers, both professionally and spiritually. More specifically, when we benchmark ourselves in both areas, how are we perceived by our customer? You have no doubt seen the following “Golden Rules of Customer Service”:

1. The customer is always right!
2. The customer is always right!
3. When in doubt refer to rules 1 and 2!

In the commercial world billions of dollars and hours are spent each year trying to determine, evaluate, and scorecard the progress and successes achieved against various measures of customer service and satisfaction. Interestingly, the same thing is going on in churches all across the country.

Success is being measured against goals and performance targets in the areas of new visitors, new members, tithing totals, and many other criteria. And while there is nothing wrong with measuring such key deliverables and targets, the process of doing so begs the question, in my mind at least, that must be answered correctly or the results don’t matter:

Who is the ultimate customer?

The answer:  God Himself!

He calls and commands us to do certain things, as individuals and as churches. He’s provided a conclusive, in-depth manual for our benefit, the Bible. He has made His desires and preferences very clear. He has also clearly noted that things that do not please Him.

Good companies would pay a king’s ransom for such data on consumer preferences.

In spite of such data we often seem surrounded by individuals and churches who are struggling with secular, commercial battles entrenched in consumerism, asking the wrong questions. Instead of trying to please, serve, and honor God, we get bogged down in the questions of worship styles, proper attire, cutting-edge technology, etc…you’ve seen this played out I’m sure.

This should cause us to consider whether or not we truly understand our ultimate “customer.”

Do we even know our customer? Do our actions reflect a commitment to serving our customer? Or, are we catering to, marketing to, and trying to reach the wrong customer?

In the “business” of eternity, it is and always will be about only one…God Himself! And if He is not the standard and benchmark by which all things are measured we will fail to achieve the purposes for which we were created, individually as well as corporately in our churches.

So while the world around us is struggling to come up with better ways to serve customers and increase revenues, let’s be sure, as Christians, we are taking the time to analyze our own productivity and success in serving and pleasing God Himself.

In the end, He is the only “customer” on which our every effort should center!

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