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Youth Ministry Lessons From A Retail Store

Three mistakes some retail stores make:

  1. They clean the floors while the store is still busy.
  2. They place new merchandise pallets in the aisles, making it hard to get around.
  3. They do not have enough registers open.

I experienced all three of these mistakes one night while shopping with my family, which made it harder for me to buy what I wanted. As I tried to shop, I kept asking myself why would a retail store, who is trying to make a profit, do things which make it harder for the customer to shop? I believe these mistakes are made when a store loses sight of their ultimate goal and becomes too focused on the details. The details, like having a clean store or having merchandise on the shelves, are important to accomplishing your goal, but when they become the focus it can hurt your business.

In the retail world, these details can become hurdles making it difficult for the customers to shop; therefore making it harder for the store to make money. As a customer, I feel like I’m an inconvenience to the store when they act like I’m not there. When I have to jump a hurdle just to shop, I feel the store is more concerned with getting the product out than anything else. This focus on details has the potential to derail you from accomplishing your goal, too.

How often do I do the very same thing before a scheduled event or class? I’m busy running around trying to make this copy or put that item where it needs to be. I can become so engrossed in “last minute” details that I run people over. I treat people like they are in my way and I just need to get stuff ready. Because if I get stuff ready, the very people I ran over will be able to learn about God. How foolish.

Here are a few things I’ve learned that might help you in those situations…

  1. Be prepared. Get the details taken care of before the day they are needed.
  2. Get there early. If something comes up, I have extra time to handle it.
  3. Slow down. I need to stop “running people over” on my way to more important things. Take time to listen and talk.
  4. People are important. People are the reason I do what I do. I need to make sure I act that way.
  5. Adjust when needed. Be willing to step up and do what needs to be done without hesitation. If I need to talk to someone, do it. Watch my surroundings and adjust accordingly.

To be fair, there are times when a store makes a mistake then turns around and does what it can to fix the situation. Those moments not only help profit, they encourage customer loyalty. Is there something you have done wrong in your ministry that needs fixed?

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Youth Ministry Lessons From A Retail ...

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