I love to read, but I'm horrible at it. I have at least a dozen books at home that I began but didn't finish. But, I do love to read. I'd like for us to use this thread to share things that we're learning as we read through ministry related books. For example...
I'm currently reading "Raving Fans" by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles. Easy read, short book, parable style. The basic premise is that a most companies in America base their "customer service" on the goal of maintaining "satisfied" customers...to truly be successful, a company must instead have the goal of creating "raving fans". Creating wow moments that make people want to not only come back, but tell their friends. Great application for the church....simply plug in "church" for "company" and "the unchurched" (or whatever word you prefer for those who don't attend church/know God) for "customers".
A few quick bits that have jumped out at me so far.
"All good customer service is a result of nifty systems."
"Washrooms will always tell you if a company cares about customers."
"The real questions is 'How can I afford not to do it?'" Referring to a specific small detail that provides a wow experience.
"Decide what you want, then create a vision of perfection centered on the customer."
The next book on my list is "Radical" by David Platt. I'll be sure to post my thoughts here as well. Anyone else care to share a review of a ministry related book you're read recently?
Just finished "Raving Fans". Very easy read, maybe took me three hours total, but that was with highlighting and re-reading a bunch of stuff. I'd highly recommend it to any church leader who's concerned about serving guests at church and serving the community outside of the church. I'd also recommend it to any business owner/manager. I'll post a few more things that jumped out at me ASAP.
Next up for me, "Radical" by David Platt. This one is going to take longer than three hours, if for no other reason that it's going to challenge my way of thinking about a lot of things.
Do we have no other readers here who want to post a review?
"Jesus for President" (Zondervan, Shaine Claiborne & Chris Haw) gives additional insight into understanding and creating true service. My son gave this to me for my birthday. Its cover and pages and general style are retro-1969, Wittenburg-doorish, but the authors have been quite involved with the subject they write about.
My Minit-Mart makes me a raving fan when they give me the penny on uneven change. A small detail that customers find very satisfying. A contemporary worship leader who's not too haughty to sing a hymn - a small thing that both young and old appreciate. A person in a church who stops what they are fussing around about (equipment, bulletins, etc.) to talk with a person who seems to want to talk - usually a small thing, but huge.
At first, when I looked at your subject and the "customer service" model, I was suspicious. Sometimes a church will target a certain group at the expense of everyone else. But the line "...create a vision of perfection centered on the customer." All strangers, all poor or needy, all walking in darkness, all who dream of a church lifestyle better than hypocrisy, all of these, according to the Word, are Jesus -- your Customer. When we focus our service on people rather than on making a cool scene for ourselves, we are serving the Customer of Customers and Lord of Lords.