Today I had lunch with one of the members of our church. At the end of the conversation I heard something that any pastor would love to hear. No matter your job or station in life, I bet you’d love to hear it, too. It’s an open-ended question that deserves an honest response.
The words I heard were in the form of a question:
Is there anything I, or my wife, can do to help you or our church?
The key to this question is that it was said in all sincerity. It was not flippant. The question was not asked hoping that there would be no response. It was asked in expectation that there would be some kind of request or answer.
Although I shouldn’t have been, I was taken a bit aback by the question. I didn’t have a ready response. I said that I would let him know if there ever is anything. And I will.
I will because I know from history that the person who asked the question is ready, willing, and able to help. The key here is history. When someone backs up their words with actions in the past it’s a pretty good indicator that it will happen again in the future.
I can’t tell you how much easier my daily work would be if I had more people asking this question more often. I myself often think the question, and ponder how I can help others. But I don’t ask it nearly as often as I should. In other words, it helps to speak it out loud to people.
If I appreciate it, I know others must appreciate it as well.
Here are my lessons from this little question at lunch today:
- Be ready with an answer when someone asks you what they can do for you.
- Make a commitment to ask this question more often: “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
How can you help someone today?