Retail Christianity

I believe Christians should avoid the marketing and service mistakes of consumer companies. Sometimes, they are so focused on the crowd that they fail to see or meet the needs of the individual.

In companies, the cost of cultivating a single customer or solving his complaints can be so high that at some point, organisations don’t bother with investing so much. Instead, they focus on the low hanging fruit and the easily satisfied masses, thus maximising profits and driving down cost. In churches, we sometimes do same. We expend resources on evangelism and crusades to bring the masses to Christ. We are quick to celebrate when 100 people respond to an altar call and not so much, when a single soul does. We expend so much effort on the service production and sermon that one soul is not a good enough return on investment. We must have done something wrong to reap such meagre results.

Sometimes, the attitude extends to church social media handles too. Someone poses a question and we deem him not worth attending to because he’s not asking a question that can directly lead to his salvation. He’s asking about points of doctrine and we don’t want to take the time to properly answer his question. We’re too busy winning souls. Retaining those souls is not really our focus. Sometimes our metrics for measuring social media success in the church is how many followers we have and not how many people we’ve counselled in our inbox. We rarely measure the number of questions we respond to or how many prayers are said for those in need. We may even fail to monitor the reach of our messages or the feedback from people who read it.

I sincerely think the church needs to pay a bit more attention to what I call retail evangelism and not just do wholesale evangelism. We must drill down and pay attention to discipleship and the peculiarities of individual spiritual & physical needs in the church. We must build up souls and equip believers so we nurture mature Christians who can do the work of the ministry in the marketplace.

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