Take a quick look at this 30-second ad from Southwest Airlines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpV41xfGcuw.
“If it matters to you, it matters to us.” Sometimes in ministry, we prefer to reverse that statement and add a word for the guilt effect. We might say, “If it matters to us, it should matter to you.” Churches can become so wrapped up in their own preservation that they forget their mission. They forget that their purpose is to serve the needs of others… from the perspective of the others.
This concept is easier to grasp in interpersonal relationships. If I don’t pay attention to the things that matter to my wife, my marriage quickly descends into a dark place. If my wife doesn’t take care of the things that matter to me, I feel like she just doesn’t care. We drift apart when we treat each other this way.
Churches are similar. When we fail to appreciate the things that matter to the people we serve, they feel like we don’t care and then they drift away.
There was one more significant element in the Southwest ad that ministers might take note of: the two things that mattered to the guy on the plane were television and sports. I know lots of professional ministers who don’t understand that these two things are very important to Americans. They matter to our people. How can we work with that? How can we incorporate their love for television and sports into our ministries? I think churches would be smart to pay attention to what people are watching and find ways to help them watch with a faith perspective. Maybe this is why Jesus told so many fishing and farming stories!
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