Who are the people you love to learn from? In grade school many of us had teachers we preferred, and some we did not care for. This usually continues in life. In college when you find a professor you enjoy you find a way to take various courses that they offer. In adulthood we have things such as favorite authors or speakers that we gravitate towards for insights and growth.
Pursuing growth through new knowledge and insight is a great thing to do. The challenge many of us face is finding a balance between taking in new thoughts without losing culture. You see wherever you serve you are part of a unique culture, often times intentionally cultivated by the senior leader.
The goal is to learn and observe from others and then be intentional about how we implement those new thoughts within our unique team or organization. If your goal is to help your team then what you learn is helpful only when you discover a way to translate it into your team culture. (click to tweet)
Because I work in ministry there is a basic way this plays out for me. You see there are never-ending seminars, books and talks on the idea of customer service. In fact if you want you can become immersed in a subculture of customer service trainings and conversations.
With all the wonderful resources available on the idea of customer service there is a challenge to keep proper perspective. There is much to learn from the customer service industry, yet at the core there is a deep divide that we must understand if we desire to translate customer service thinking into church environments.
The shift is subtle when you begin thinking of people walking into the church as customers. The logic makes sense – people are coming in looking for something that we hope to provide. Our job is to serve them well so they want to come back…sounds like customer service doesn’t it?
The battle for those of us in the church is to remember that People who walk into the church are in need of Jesus, not just a good customer service experience. (click to tweet) This is more than semantics of language – there is a big difference between pastoring people and treating them like a customer.
I can learn much from the customer service industry, yet in the end our purpose is not to get a sale or a return customer, but to help people experience redemption and restoration through Jesus.
Learn all you can from the resources you have available, but keep your team’s purpose and culture in mind. If you serve within the church remember that those who come in our doors are people who need pastoring, not simply customers to serve.