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Church Strategy

Tools and Trends for Strategic Planning

Monthly Archives: November 2009

Peter Drucker, the management guru, was known for phrases that make complex concepts simple.   A.G. Lafley, writing in Harvard Business Review, cited two of his finest:

#1. “The purpose of a company is to create a customer.”

#2. “A business is defined by the want the customer satisfies when he or she buys a product or a service.  To satisfy the customer is the mission and purpose of every business.”

In statement #1, Drucker is reminding us that customers need to be created, not just found.  He doesn’t say to “serve a customer” or to “create a product,” but to “create a customer.” 

If that’s the purpose of a company, then what is the purpose of your church?  I propose, “The purpose of a church is to partner with God in creating a disciple.”  It’s easy to get too fancy on this one.  We have grand mission statements and visions, but don’t forget to run it through this screen: How are you creating disciples?

In statement #2, Drucker is focused on satisfying customer’s wants.  Notice that he doesn’t say that customers will always know what they want.  Customers would not have told Apple in 2001, “Give me a white box holding 10,000 songs with a wheel to toggle through my music.”

Like a great product, Jesus came to satisfy consumers’ desires – to provide answers to problems that many of us didn’t know that we had.  To modify Drucker’s statement #2, “Your church is defined by the want the attendee satisfies when he or she attends.  To satisfy the deep longings of your people is the mission and purpose of every church.”

Tying #1 and #2 together, the attendee’s deep longings are only satisfied when he or she enters into a life of discipleship.

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Peter Drucker, the management guru, was known for phrases that make complex concepts simple.   A.G. Lafley, writing in Harvard Business Review, cited two of his finest:

#1. “The purpose of a company is to create a customer.”

#2. “A business is defined by the want the customer satisfies when he or she buys a product or a service.  To satisfy the customer is the mission and purpose of every business.”

In statement #1, Drucker is reminding us that customers need to be created, not just found.  He doesn’t say to “serve a customer” or to “create a product,” but to “create a customer.” 

If that’s the purpose of a company, then what is the purpose of your church?  I propose, “The purpose of a church is to partner with God in creating a disciple.”  It’s easy to get too fancy on this one.  We have grand mission statements and visions, but don’t forget to run it through this screen: How are you creating disciples?

In statement #2, Drucker is focused on satisfying customer’s wants.  Notice that he doesn’t say that customers will always know what they want.  Customers would not have told Apple in 2001, “Give me a white box holding 10,000 songs with a wheel to toggle through my music.”

Like a great product, Jesus came to satisfy consumers’ desires – to provide answers to problems that many of us didn’t know that we had.  To modify Drucker’s statement #2, “Your church is defined by the want the attendee satisfies when he or she attends.  To satisfy the deep longings of your people is the mission and purpose of every church.”

Tying #1 and #2 together, the attendee’s deep longings are only satisfied when he or she enters into a life of discipleship.

Tags: ,