I strongly believe Christian churches should avoid the mistakes of consumer companies. Sometimes, these companies are so focused on the crowd, that they fail to see or meet the needs of individuals. They essentially operate a mass market model.
In companies, the cost of cultivating a single customer or solving his complaints, can be so high, that organisations focus on the low hanging fruit and easily satisfied masses. They do so to maximise profit and to drive down cost. In churches, we sometimes do the 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 service production, that a single soul is not seen as a good enough return on investment. We feel we must have offended God to reap such meagre results.
Sometimes, this attitude extends to church social media handles as well. Someone poses a question and we deem him not worthy of attention, because he’s not posing a query that can directly lead to his salvation. He’s focusing on points of doctrine and we don’t want to take the time to properly respond. We’re too busy winning souls. Retaining those souls is not really our focus.
Sometimes our metrics for measuring success in church, is how many members we have, not how many people we’ve counselled or helped. We rarely seek out those in need, until they actively seek us out. We may even fail to monitor the impact of our messages or the feedback from people who received them.
I sincerely think the church needs to pay a bit more attention to what I call, Retail Christianity and not just focus on wholesale evangelism. After all, Jesus is the sort of person to leave ninety-nine sheep in search of the one.