If one customer has a bad experience, they will tell 11 people who will in turn tell 5 others. On the other side, if a customer has a positive experience, they will tell about 6 people who in turn tell 4. It’s a sad truth. It’s much easier to spread the word about the bad things than the good.
The number one reason people don’t return to restaurants is poor service. I hear all the time that people who don’t connect with a church say that “no one talked to them.” If someone doesn’t get a sense that they are wanted, it’s hard for them to stay.
The secret? The restaurant may mistakenly think they are in the food business. In reality, they are in the people business. You can translate this into many aspects of business and ministry. Here are some thoughts about this principle from the perspective of the church.
– Weekend Worship Service greeters, ushers, welcome team – their job is not to hand out bulletins, find seats or staff the welcome center, their job is to help people feel comfortable, welcome and connected.
– Hospitality Team – their job is not to get the coffee out, set out the doughnuts or serve the food, their job is to help make sure people feel like they are being care for and loved.
Of course, we have to have the roles accomplished. And it maybe just a slight nuance. But I believe it helps focus each minister in every congregation – it’s about sharing God’s love with people.
How can we teach our faithful believers that we are in the people business? How can we give 100% priority to helping people feel welcome, engaged, loved and cared for? What does it take?
It takes modeling the idea that we are in this for the people. Jesus summed it up when he said to love God and love people. It also requires sharing the vision of reaching people with your congregation on a regular basis. I don’t think it was any accident that Jesus invited the first disciples to become “fishers of people”.
Don’t make the mistake. The church is in the people business. Not just to entice people come back to increase our numbers, but to connect with them through the love of Christ. To offer them hope. To invite them to experience the transformational power of Jesus.
** I think the 1-11-55 principle is something I first heard from John Maxwell many years ago.