I have been in business environments for 30+ years. I have been in several leadership positions in churches.
One common scenario that I’ve seen in both the secular business world and in the church world is a focus on new people. Whether its new customers or new church attendees, I’ve seen often this emphasis on how to “acquire” new people.
I understand the rationale for continuing to bring in new customers and new church attendees, but my encouragement for you leaders is to keep a balance in mind.
Think of the issues of business. Although it’s all relative, it costs a significant amount of money to market to, then sell to new potential customers. Whereas it costs just a minimal amount of money to connect with your existing customers. I used to work for a company that spent a ton of money trying to generate new business for us, salespeople. I was grateful for the efforts that our company was putting in trying to keep our sales pipeline full. However, in hindsight, if I thought about our corporate efforts from a non-selfish point of view, I think there were a lot of mistakes made by our neglect of our customers at that point.
Now look at the church world. A church might promote a special speaker, or some kind of “bring a friend” event, or ramp up its “connecting with visitors” ministry, but what does it convey to your current members when they see the efforts being put in to welcome new people, but they feel neglected?
If you are a pastor, or deacon, or elder, or a leader of some ministry, let me encourage you to take a step of faith and evaluate the satisfaction of your current regular attendees. Do a survey and ask them. Include in your survey places for them to give you feedback on what could be improved and listen AND follow through on implementing changes.
Whether in business or in the church world, if you are a leader, let me encourage you to pick up the phone, and/or personally meet with people and find out from them, face to face, how they are doing. Express to them your gratefulness for their support of your business, or your church?
Make your current members feel special. Why? Because they are.