1 Chronicles 24:1-19 – Does Your Church Have Excellent Customer Service?

Posted: May 28, 2020 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 24:1-19

Duties of the Priests

Have you ever been to an amusement park and there were employees there that acted as if you were an imposition to them? Have you been to a fast food restaurant where it was like that? That one person or that group of employees that happen to be at that particular place in the amusement park or that particular store of a fast food chain can adversely impact your view of the entire organization! If they are rude, it can have an impact on your view. If they are clueless, it can do the same. If they act as if they would rather be some place else, it can do the same. If an employee at one store or one part of an amusement park treats a person poorly, it can have a ripple effect. That person treated poorly will tell all his friends and all of a sudden there is a whole group of people that will not go to that fast food restaurant chain ever again – no matter if the other stores have wonderful employees or not. It is the same with amusement parks. There was an old commercial for Faberge Organics shampoo back in the 70’s I think it was about “they’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends and so on and so on”. It was about how good the product was and that you should tell two friends about it. The visual of the screen multiplying by twos exponentially was pretty cool. It is true that word of mouth can be crazily positive and at the same time it can be crazily negative. Negative experiences seem to exponentially grow and multiply more quickly than positive ones however! Just one employee with a bad attitude, just one employee having a bad day, just one employee who you will never see again, just one employee can adversely impact the loyalty of a customer to a store brand. One bad purchase of a product and impact loyalty to a product brand as well. Just think of the people that say they will never buy a Chrysler or Ford or a GM product ever again because of one bad purchase.

That’s what I thought of this morning as I read through this passage about the division of the Temple duties among the various clans of the Levites. Because they were divided up into 24 groups that each served two weeks at the Temple, the full rotation would take 48 weeks to complete out of a 52 week year. Thus, during a given year depending where you at in the cycle and how the 48 weeks feel within a particular year, you would at most have to serve two times (a total of 4 weeks) in that year. It got me to thinking about ministry leadership by members of any given church on any given Sunday. While you think about that concept and wonder where I am going with this, let’s read the passage now, 1 Chronicles 24:1-19:

Chapter 24

1 This is how Aaron’s descendants, the priests, were divided into groups for service. The sons of Aaron were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and they had no sons. So only Eleazar and Ithamar were left to carry on as priests.

3 With the help of Zadok, who was a descendant of Eleazar, and of Ahimelech, who was a descendant of Ithamar, David divided Aaron’s descendants into groups according to their various duties. 4 Eleazar’s descendants were divided into sixteen groups and Ithamar’s into eight, for there were more family leaders among the descendants of Eleazar.

5 All tasks were assigned to the various groups by means of sacred lots so that no preference would be shown, for there were many qualified officials serving God in the sanctuary from among the descendants of both Eleazar and Ithamar. 6 Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, acted as secretary and wrote down the names and assignments in the presence of the king, the officials, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech son of Abiathar, and the family leaders of the priests and Levites. The descendants of Eleazar and Ithamar took turns casting lots.

7

The first lot fell to Jehoiarib.

The second lot fell to Jedaiah.

8

The third lot fell to Harim.

The fourth lot fell to Seorim.

9

The fifth lot fell to Malkijah.

The sixth lot fell to Mijamin.

10

The seventh lot fell to Hakkoz.

The eighth lot fell to Abijah.

11

The ninth lot fell to Jeshua.

The tenth lot fell to Shecaniah.

12

The eleventh lot fell to Eliashib.

The twelfth lot fell to Jakim.

13

The thirteenth lot fell to Huppah.

The fourteenth lot fell to Jeshebeab.

14

The fifteenth lot fell to Bilgah.

The sixteenth lot fell to Immer.

15

The seventeenth lot fell to Hezir.

The eighteenth lot fell to Happizzez.

16

The nineteenth lot fell to Pethahiah.

The twentieth lot fell to Jehezkel.

17

The twenty-first lot fell to Jakin.

The twenty-second lot fell to Gamul.

18

The twenty-third lot fell to Delaiah.

The twenty-fourth lot fell to Maaziah.

19 Each group carried out its appointed duties in the house of the Lord according to the procedures established by their ancestor Aaron in obedience to the commands of the Lord, the God of Israel.

In this passage, we see that each clan had to serve according to a schedule and were only there for two weeks each year (maybe 4 weeks depending on how the calendar fell). To these clansmen from their group, to serve at the Temple was the highlight of their year. It was such a great honor that they would not miss it for the world. While there, they served with precision. They served with great fervor. Why? Because it was just such an honor to be at the Temple. They considered it their duty toward God and would do it with amazing persistence and dogged perfectionism. Now, what if just one of those guys did not want to come. What if they had an amazingly bad attitude while they were there. What if they were there during the important festival dates in the life of Israel and they were ill and mean? What if they acted as if they did not care about the guests coming to the Temple for worship? What if they did not give their all? What if they did not seek perfection while they were there? You know what happens in those situations? You take the guests’ eyes off worshiping God and on what you did wrong, or what you didn’t do that you should have done, or what you did do that was rude?

That’s the thing that struck me this morning when thinking about what, if anything, I could take away from this passage to apply to my life and/or to yours. That thing is that in the church, whether we like it or not, we are in the customer service business. Impressions matter. For it can do two things. One, it can take your loyal customers (your regularly attending church members) eyes off learning more about God, about being swept up by the Holy Spirit into a memorable worship experience, about deepening their relationship with Jesus, about being challenged to seek harder after God’s will through a good sermon. If a bad experience at any point before the worship service has that person tied up in knots, what do you think they will be thinking about during worship service? It won’t be about God. It will be about that person who caused the bad experience. Two, visitors to your church campus will make up their mind as to whether to return to your campus a second or third time (and possibly making your church their home) by the way they are treated. From the moment, their car tires roll onto your campus, one volunteer can make a difference at to whether they return or not.

First, do you have a parking lot team? Do you have visitors’ spaces? If you have neither, you will lose a visitor before they even come into any building. If everybody knows where and how to park that’s been there for generations, but yet we expect visitors to just know that? it’s good to have a knowledgeable person in the parking lot to help any potential visitor find where they need to go. This person may not have any work other than greeting the regulars as they come through the parking lot, but just wait for that one time that nobody’s there! Then, not having teacher in a classroom on time for Sunday School makes a visitor wonder if they missed some secret handshake about what happened to the class they were supposed to be in. Having a Sunday School teacher that’s not prepared for that week’s planned lesson and just wings it makes a visitor wonder why you even have classroom materials? Having ushers in place and on duty well before service begins and who are knowledgeable about every aspect of the church’s ministries, activities, and upcoming events can be a difference as well? If they are not there before service and if they seem clueless about their own church, what signal does that send to a visitor. If the choir appears not to have rehearsed for this week, what signal does that send? If the bulletin has misspellings and different fonts and uneven presentations of information, what signal does that send? If the pastor’s sermon seems like he wrote a “Saturday night special” (the term for just throwing your sermon together the night before service). If the pastor speaks in passionless tones, what does that say to the visitor. What if no asks them to sit with them on “their” row? What signals are we sending when we are there but we don’t give our volunteer positions own best and highest for the glory of God?

What if we just didn’t show up for service on a weekend that we have been assigned to volunteer? What if we did that at our regular jobs? What if we had a leadership position in a ministry of the church but we just liked having the title but didn’t really give our full attention and passion to that leadership position? What if we did that our regular jobs?

All of these questions are ones that each one of us must answer in our various volunteer roles at church. Are we going to be the difference between someone being reached by the gospel who visits our church. Conversely, by our inattention or lackadaisical approach to our volunteer work at church, could we cause a delay in when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior? Could we cause a delay in a person finding a church that they can call home and can grow in their relationship with Christ? Let us be pastors who give it our all every week. Let us be church volunteers who see whatever they are doing as being done for the glory of God and to ensure that there is no reason that a person can come on our campus and be distracted from the purpose – worshiping God! Let our churches be that kind of church. No distractions that make Satan smile but rather people seeking to give God their all in the execution of their jobs so that people see a seamless operation with no hiccups and no reason to be distracted from worshiping God – Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night, youth service, children’s church, main worship service, parking lot attendants, security, Sunday school teachers, ushers, acolytes, choir, musicians, preachers, all working toward giving God our best at every moment for our church!

Amen and Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s