Can you imagine a business that never focused on reaching new customers? Imagine Apple saying, “We have no plans to sell phones, tablets and computers to new customers in the future. We’re going to focus solely on our existing customers from now on.”
For a season Apple would likely continue to thrive because it has plenty of existing customers. But, over time, Apple would slowly lose it’s customer base until eventually everyone has either started purchasing products from other companies or passed away.
The thought of a business like Apple only focusing on existing customers seems ludicrous and a recipe for disaster, but the crazy thing is that I see churches embracing this “strategy” on a regular basis.
Let me help you discern whether or not you are part of an inwardly-focused church. Here are ten symptoms I’ve noticed in my interactions with churches across the country.
- Your bulletin is loaded with announcements. Usually this is an indication that your church is focused on programs rather than people. Programs are competing for people’s attention rather than creating a clear path for new people to take next steps.
- There are lots of meetings. The more inwardly-focused a church gets, the more board and committee meetings there are to talk about buildings and budgets. When people are on mission, there are fewer meetings.
- You don’t hear and share stories of life change. Instead, you’re more likely to hear about all the activities that are happening in the church.
- There’s only one service on Sunday. Inwardly-focused churches are more concerned about knowing and seeing everyone. That becomes the higher value over reaching new people.