Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Is The Customer Always Right?

Over the past few years I have focused most of my time and energy on the group I have come to call, Seasoned Believers, folks whose lives have been spent following God as best they know how. This group has had a lot of experience with God, Churches, Para-Church Groups and assorted trials and tribulations. They have lost their idealism without losing their faith.

It is our goal to develop materials, products, experiences and events that will minister deeply to the hearts and souls of these well experienced Christians, whether in the church or out. One way we are attempting to do that is by asking Seasoned Believers what would be helpful to them. However, I find it is difficult to get an answer.

Most choose not to answer our surveys and others just complain about past failures.

When Seasoned Believers hear me describe our ministry, they sometimes get defensive. I taught a class last year about "Hearing God's Call" and interviewed several members before teaching. I asked them, "What would you like me to cover in this class?"

I was not shocked but I was surprised by most of the responses. Many came out like this:

"Why is the Pastor doing this? Have we not done enough already?"

"I am already giving, leading a group and attending every service. Isn't that enough?"

"Gary, why are you pressuring us to do more? I have served the Lord for years and I am tired."

You get the point. But, it was not the point I was trying to make. I had something quite the opposite in mind. Can you guess what my goal was?

What would be helpful to your group of friends?

Hit the comment button or write me at


paula clare said...

Hi Gary,
I'm not sure why there is such a lack of response...I am personally grateful for the question...

What would be most helpful to me is a written strategy that would enable me (as an equipper and leader in the church)to help the church make the cognitive and spiritual shift from a "program-oriented" mindset to a missional and community-oriented mindset.

So there you have what?

Gary Sweeten said...

Paula, You are our number 1 commentor and I am glad you stay tuned. One idea bout moving away from programs. That may be the key to real spiritual growth. I don't think it is possible to eliminate programs for most people and age groups. However, start doing more process groups for the Seasoned Saints. Gather people together around common interests and train them to find their passion and go for it.

Here is my ministry mantra: "Go with those who want to grow and bless the rest."

Find the motivated and see what they are morivated to do. Never try to motivate the unmotivated. It just makes them less motivated. Programs are usually made for the unmotivated.