This week we’re asking this question: do churches treat guests the way car lots treat customers? Catch up on earlier posts using the links at the bottom.
Dan was the first car salesman we met on our Saturday quest, and looking back on it, we should’ve quit while we were ahead. He didn’t have the biggest lot or the broadest inventory. There was no fancy showroom and no cafe’. His pants were a little tight and his tie was a little short and his personality was a little goofy, but Dan seemed to be a genuinely nice guy.
Dan was pretty far removed from our age bracket, but he tried to connect with our kids because he had grandkids their age. Because of extensive conversations with his daughter-in-law, he knew what it was like to be a “mom chauffeur” and what kind of vehicle we needed to be steered towards. When we wanted to see a model that he didn’t have on the lot, he walked us over to his personal ride – that same model – and let us poke and prod around it for a while.
And when it was time to leave and he realized he wasn’t going to make a sale that day, there was no pressure. He thanked us for stopping by, handed us his card, and told us when we were ready to buy, he’d love to earn our business.
And you know what? I’ll probably give him a shot.
Dan wasn’t a newly-hired sales guy or a random employee. He owned the place. I don’t know if it was that position or simply years of experience that made him easy to work with, but he gained my respect. Never once did he drool over a potential sale. Never once did he suck up and act like he’d known us all his life. Never once did he get pushy and try to get us in his cubicle. He simply cared for us, listened to us, and let us know where to find him when we were ready for the next step.
I think churches who love their guests get this principle. I think they realize that we’ll win people with kindness before we’ll win them with aggression. I believe that we must instigate a revolution when it comes to how we pursue the people God sends our way. There’s a definite balance between reaching people (the way the Gospel commands) and suffocating people (the way we often do).
As we wrap up the series tomorrow, I’ll throw out a few takeaway questions from this week’s posts. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about your experience – at the Summit or somewhere else. Comment below!
See all posts in the series:
- Car Lot Church (part one)
- Car Lot Church (part two)
- Car Lot Church (part three)
- Car Lot Church (part four)
- Car Lot Church (part five)