Summary: 1- Think growth 2- Advertising pays 3- Let’s eat 4- Come casual 5- Small multiplies 6- Get motivated
INTRO.- ILL.- There is a movie called, “How to lose a guy in 10 days.” It’s a cute, funny, romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson. He tries to win her and she tries to lose him. And it turns out, of course, that they fall in love. I love it when people fall in love!
How to lose a guy in 10 days. Sometimes I think churches are in the business of losing people rather than winning them. And often, it doesn’t take 10 days. Sometimes only 10 minutes! How do we lose people or not win them?
ILL.- I read an article entitled, “Ways to know your church is unfriendly.” Being unfriendly is definitely one way to lose people or cause a church not to grow. Here are some ways:
- When the sign out front says – For members only
- When the parking lot has a sign that says – unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owners expense.
- When the church lobby has a sign that says – no loitering
- When you say, “Praise the Lord” or “Amen” and the guy behind you says: “we don’t do that here.”
- When the preacher’s message is entitled “The Theological Significance of the eschatological dimensions of the sanctified life in the pre-millennial view of predestination.”
- When they pass the offering plate – twice.
- When, at fellowship, coffee is $1.50 and donuts are $1.00 – limit one.
- When the church’s motto is – We’re getting smaller but purer.
All churches do things that cause them to lose some people. It may be internal fighting, poor preaching, poor leadership, not-interested leaders, not-interested members, poor music, etc. Or it may be no interest in youth, music, worship, growth or no interest in anything!
ILL.- The parable of the NO-GOOD DOG FOOD Company. The NO-GOOD DOG FOOD company was doing, well, NO-GOOD. Sales were down, profits were down, income was down, people were down.
NO-GOOD called in some consultants to come in and analyze the situation. Sure enough, they confirmed the unpleasant truth. NO-GOOD was doing no good. The consultants did some careful analysis and made some suggestions. It didn’t help. NO-GOOD was still doing NO-GOOD.
Marketing experts were called in. Every facet of marketing was considered. Packaging. Distribution. Ads. They even considered changing the name of the NO-GOOD company. A major national marketing campaign was launched that featured an opening of Super Bowl ads. These were followed up with other TV ads, billboards, ads in magazines and national newspapers. It didn’t help. NO-GOOD was still doing NO-GOOD.
Since the problem had to do with sales, NO-GOOD decided to hire some sales trainers. The top sales trainers from across the nation were hired and paid big bucks to train the sales force in advance sales strategies. These sales-trainers didn’t solve the problem, but they did identify it.
It was at one of these sales meetings that a junior salesman raised an issue that ended up solving the problems at NO-GOOD. It was not received well at first. Junior John raised his hand and said, "I know why sales are down."
"You?" said the sales trainer. "You know why sales are down?" "Yes. I know why sales are down." "We have had the top consultants in the country working on this and they couldn’t figure it out and you, Junior John, know why sales are down." "Yes, I know why sales are down."
"Well, tell us, Junior John. Why are sales down? Enlighten us!" "Dogs don’t like it." "What?" "Dogs don’t like it." "Excuse me? What do you mean dogs don’t like it?" "Dogs don’t like it."
"Our dog food is nutritionally sound. We have the approval of the American Dog Food Society. “We have received dozens of awards. We have been written up in the most prestigious dog food journals in the country." "Dogs don’t like it."
"You know nothing. You are a junior sales rep. You have barely started your training. You know nothing. Someone escort this young man out of here. He knows nothing."
"I know this. Dogs don’t like your dog food. And I am happy to leave. But, before I do, would you like me to prove, once and for all that dogs don’t like your dog food?"
"How do you propose to do that?" "May I come to the stage?" "Proceed." With this, Junior John came to the stage. He poured three fresh bowls of NO-GOOD DOG FOOD. He had arranged for this demonstration ahead of time and had arranged for ten hungry dogs to come on stage. All ten dogs entered the stage, sniffed the bowls of freshly poured NO-GOOD DOG FOOD and walked off. Everyone was stunned.
Then, Junior John did the unthinkable. He pulled out a bag of NO-GOOD’s competitor’s dog food, NOT-BAD DOG FOOD. He poured three fresh bowls of NOT-BAD DOG FOOD and whistled. The dogs came back out, sniffed the dog food, then began to devour the NOT-BAD DOG FOOD. After a bit, the dogs walked off.