Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Caring for the disenfranchised (Matthew 25:40) of society with a reminder from the business world.

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 25:40
Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to me.'

STORY as told by Peter Hay:
In the 1950s, marketing whiz Stanley Arnold was working at Young & Rubicam, where he was asked to come up with a marketing campaign for Remington Rand. The company was among the most conservative in America. Its chairman at the time was retired General Douglas MacArthur. Intimidated at first by a company that was so much a part of America, Arnold also found in that phrase the first inspiration for a campaign. After thinking about it, he went to the New York offices of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane, and placed the ultimate odd-lot order:
"I want to purchase," he told the broker, "one share of every single stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange." After a vice president tried to talk him out of it, the order was finally placed. It came to more than $42,000 for one share in each of the 1098 companies listed on the Big Board at the time. Arnold now took his diversified portfolio into a meeting of Remington Rand's board of directors, where he argued passionately for a sweepstakes campaign with the top prize called A Share in America. The conservative old gentlemen shifted around in their seats and discussed the idea for a while. "But Mr. Arnold," said one, "we are not in the securities business." Said another, "We are in the shaver business." 
"I agree that you are not in the securities business," said Arnold, "but I think you also ought to realize that you are not in the shaver business either. You are in the people business." The company bought the idea. 
It is often lost within the rank and file of the average church … we are in the people business. We get caught up with the liturgy, the music, the programs, the policy-making matters, the staff, the money … and the people get pushed aside.

Not only are we in the people business, we are in the disenfranchised of society people business. Oh, the come with various “handles” hung around them – the poor, the needy, the hungry, the beggars, the dirty, the lazy, welfare cheats or some other title thrown out to put them down, to pass judgment, to belittle. They are the disenfranchised. Easy to ignore. Easy to overlook. Easy to pass-by on the other side.

It is also easy to throw-out the overused and misunderstood phrase … “let them get a job”. Oh, if it was that easy.  After years of working with “these people” there was a discovery made … the majority are not mentally capable of making good decisions for their life. This probably would like to be argued by many, but reality is the reality.

The church is in the people business … the disenfranchised people business … giving a hand up in this world. Caring for those who cannot care for themselves. Doing unto the least of society. We are in the people business.

We are surrounded by people. Please keep us from ignoring them or from passing a judgment on them. Make us sensitive and cause us to take the time to get to know them on a personal basis. Help us to care.

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