I recently flew Delta Airlines, and noticed a promo sign that said this:
Building a Better Airline, not just a bigger one
Say what you want about Delta, but this (relatively) new initiative is a strong one. In an industry marked by frustration over lost baggage, TSA joys, and cancelled flights, Delta is trying to give the customer a better experience. They’re trying to build a better airline.
There are two key words here in their new strategy, “Building a Better Airline, not just a bigger one” that I think church leaders could learn from.
How can churches build better, not just bigger?
1. A Better experience
Delta is looking to build their company on standards and procedures that set them apart from everyone else. They’re changing things up and implementing new ideas that position them as the leaders in their industry because the services and conveniences they offer serve their customers more efficiently, effectively, and liberally. Case-in-point: there’s a TV on the back of each headrest. And they offer lots of free programming.
If you’re a part of a local church and you’re not thinking, “How can we serve our congregation and our community more efficiently, effectively, and liberally?” then you’re not asking the right questions. You’re not wrestling through the right things.
2. A “bigger” company
Notice one word: “not just a bigger one.” They are looking to build a bigger company, it’s just not the only thing they’re looking to do. See, there’s nothing wrong with growth. In fact, if they weren’t looking to build a bigger company, I’d wonder why they’re even in business. Individuals (or groups) launch a business to see it grow, no?
Should churches be any different? *
We want our churches to grow numerically, right? If not, why do we even exist? Of what value is the Great Commission? Why would the Bible include numbers when it referred to the early, New Testament church in the book of Acts, where God was adding thousands daily? If numbers didn’t matter, why include them?
Numbers aren’t just blind figures.
They’re people. They represent a person who is far from the Lord. One who needs to hear the Gospel. One who needs Hope. One who needs encouragement. One who needs to understand God’s grace.
“Numbers” aren’t our motivating factor…but sharing the Gospel and making disciples of people (in an increasing number) is our motivation. So numbers do matter. **
How is your local church working to offer a “better” experience for “customers”?
Do the numbers really matter?
* I understand that the strategy of some churches is to send people out, and keep the numbers on their campus lower. This is a viable strategy…but one in which these churches still should value numbers.
** This is a Ron Edmondson-ism.
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