Sometimes I think that we in the church feel we have all of the answers, all of the time, for all of the world's problems. While I, of course, believe that the church should have some of the key answers, to some of life's issues, I don't think we have lock on the market (so to speak). While I believe that the ultimate questions (about life and death, and eternal life and death) are all answered by the Bible, I also believe that we can also learn a lot from the "outside world." Here are three things I learned about church growth this week, while talking to people in local businesses around Paso Robles.
* Gas prices effect business (Big Time!). A local business own told me that they always know when business is going to be bad, based on the evening news. When the evening news does a report on the cost of gas going up, their business vastly decreases. When church leaders plan large church functions (like VBS, or Easter, or a Family BBQ), how often do we turn to one another and ask, "What are the gas prices right now? How is Libya doing? What is the condition of OPEC?"
* When people leave your business to go to a competitor, the purchaser always feels worse. This little tid-bit was actually offered to me by a local dentist. He told me that when people leave his practice, and go to another dentist in town, it is always the patient that feels worse than the doctor. People will actually avoid my dentist friend on the street, rather than have to say, "hi!". My friend told me that his tactic is always to "normalize" the exit, and allow the person who left his business to feel better about the experience.
* When a person leaves a business, they will always come back, and then, you charge them double. This nugget of wisdom was offered to me by my hair stylist. I asked her, "Do you ever feel bad if someone leaves to get their hair done in another salon?" Her answer was distinct and unforgettable. "No," she said, "I don't feel bad. I don't feel bad because I always know they will come back, and when they do, I charge them double." What if we charged people who left church double, after they got back? Maybe not....
All for now,