Orginally published on Sunday, June 10, 2007 at 8:41 PM
by Todd Rhoades
What is the price or value of a soul? $215,000. That’s the price that Wal-mart has put on each of their customers. A couple weeks ago, I happened upon a documentary on CNBC about the inner workings of Wal-mart. It was a very interesting program. One of the main things that stood out to me is that Wal-mart has done extensive research into their business. If, for example, I go into my local Wal-mart store and get bad service; can’t find what I need; have to wait in the checkout line too long; or anything else that really makes me upset, Wal-mart knows that they have a lot to lose. In fact, they’ve calculated the value of what I’m worth to them. If I get mad at Wal-mart and never return, I have just cost the company (on average) $215,000. That’s how much sales they have figured they will lose from the average customer over their lifetime if they don’t come back...
Wal-mart puts a high value on me and every other person and family in my community.
Many churches, on the other hand, seemingly couldn’t care less about the people in their community. Sure, we give them lip service, but when it really comes down to reaching our target, many of us are too busy arguing about carpet color, worship styles, and how much to ‘give’ to missions in Africa, all the while missing the main point of reaching our own community for Christ.
Wal-mart provides diapers and socks and hemorrhoid cream for a profit.
The church offers eternal life and salvation for free.
Shouldn’t our communities know we value them at least as much as Wal-mart?
FOR DISCUSSION: Here’s today’s questions for you:
--Does your church value people more than Wal-mart?
--If so, what does that look like in your community?
--Who is better at reaching their audience in your community? Your church or Wal-mart?
--Does your church even have a specific target audience?
--Does your church have a specific plan to reach that audience?
--If your church shut down today, would your community notice?
--And if they noticed, would they care?
--What is your church offering your community that no one else can or does?
I’d love to hear your response. Please add your comments below…
PS—Please know that I realize that not everyone is a huge fan of Wal-mart. And no, I’m not calling for the commercialization of the church or for the church to take the same business tactics as a giant corporation. I’m also not comparing the church to Wal-mart’s hiring practices, their growth and expansion strategy, or their position on gay workers. Just to be clear… I’m just saying that Wal-mart knows their target and does everything in their power to reach their target more effectively. That by itself is something that I think most churches can learn something from. —Todd
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