As far as I know, the legendary Apple innovator never spoke at an Acts 29 Bootcamp or the Exponential conference. And yet here he is, affording us a posthumous pithy planting proverb.
“It’s not the customer’s job to know what they want.”
Some say that the way to decide what sort of church to plant is to ask un-churched, de-churched, or meh-churched people what kind of church would resonate with them.
What programs should we offer? What kind of music should we play? What time should the service be? The customer is always right. Right?
A Sort of Fundamentalist
My sense from the conversations I’ve had with people in our church plant is that most of them didn’t know exactly what they longed for until they began experiencing it. Further, not everyone likes everything. And yet the people who feel thrilled with what God is doing among us are not (or are no longer) persnickety about what we do in all its detail.
Instead, they have sensed that life lived as a family, drenched in the gospel, with a face toward our neighbors, is what church is fundamentally all about. The rest really is just details.
Take note, but don’t take orders
Forget the focus groups and the surveys. Ignore the unsolicited advice of the disgruntled.
It’s your job to discern what church Jesus is calling you to plant by listening to his heart as you lead and practice gospel neighboring. Listen to people’s pains. Observe the barometer of their brokenness. Glean from the grumpy.
Take note, perhaps, of people’s preferences.
Take note, but don’t take orders.
Plant the church God has planted in your heart. You’re the church planter, after all.
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