Have you ever lost complete computer access for an extended period of time? I am a BIG-TIME Mac guy, but a few weeks ago I completely lost the use of my computer while trying to update to the new operating system. It must have been a real doozy of a problem, because it took Apple multiple attempts over 10 days to get it working again.
Although it was very frustrating and inconvenient to have this break down, it was truly amazing to witness the incredible customer service of Apple. It reminded me WHY I’m a Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc. guy…their amazing service. I love their products, but the difference in quality alone between Apple products and the other options available isn’t large enough for me to be such a fan. What causes me to champion them the way I do? They take care of me.
This made me think a lot about how churches take care of people. What sets one church apart from the other down the street? Probably not much. The programs are probably fairly similar and the preaching is comparable, and most people don’t care too much about the doctrinal differences. So what sets churches apart from one another? It’s how they take care of people.
I’m not trying to promote a competition mindset amongst churches here, but I hope, as a church leader, you truly believe your church has something of value to offer people in your community. So how do you get that word out to others, while encouraging those who check you out to connect at a deeper level? You take care of them. You love and respect those who trust you with their time and Spiritual direction. You treat your staff like they are part of the family, and not just the hired help. You make sure it is in the DNA of the church that everyone knows that taking care of people ALWAYS comes first.
Apple could’ve blown me off. I never pay extra for the Apple Care extended warranty, but that didn’t hold them back. They didn’t care about policies and procedures, they cared about me and meeting my needs. That’s why I will continue to pay more for their products, and write a blog that hundreds of people read declaring how great Apple is. Because they take care of me!
Church leaders, I encourage you to make taking care of your people your first priority. It’s easy to get caught up in our programs, events, and meetings, but never forget what all these things are for in the first place…People. Take the extra little step to make sure people know you care. Send that text to check on them. Return that email in a timely manner. Have a meaningful conversation in the lobby on Sunday. It’s amazing how little gestures like those will help people feel like you genuinely care. Who knows the kind of impact that can have on their lives.