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Monday, November 08, 2010

Becoming a Slave to the Minority

Seth Godin recently blogged about the 2%. You know, that tiny fraction of people that will never by satisfied with what you do.

If you have fans or followers or customers, no matter what you do, you'll annoy or disappoint two percent of them. And you'll probably hear a lot more from the unhappy 2% than from the delighted 98.
It seems as though there are only two ways to deal with this: Stop innovating, just stagnate. Or go ahead and delight the vast majority.

This sounds all too familiar from my experience in ministry. Why is it always the vocal minority that seems to rule a group. It's like a one-ton bull being led around by a few ounces of brass in its nose. I can't help but wonder if this might have been what James meant when he talked about the power of the tongue (in James 3:1-12). What if the evil that he sees in the tongue is, in part, the evil of complaining to no good end? What if the body that is ruled by the tongue is the body of Christ? How can we tame this restless evil?

Seth says: "Sure, you can try to minimize the cost of change, and you might even get the number to 1%. But if you try to delight everyone, all the time, you'll just make yourself crazy. Or become boring."

Is your church a slave to the minority? Are you willing to "alienate the 2%" for the sake of the kingdom and the lost?


allaboutcows said...

This is something we have found in every church we have ministered. The 2% or at least part of the 2% have been there forever or give the most (supposedly) and the leaders feel they have to cater to them. It is heartbreaking to see the vast majority getting frustrated and becoming apathetic. I don't have the answer but I pray that the leaders in the churches can become stronger and just do their job and stop trying to please the minority.

James Wood said...

I think one of the problems is that we don't have the different voices in the church that Jesus intended. I believe that Eph. 4.11 teaches that we need apostolic, prophetic, pastoral, and evangelistic voices. The pastoral voice helps to take care of the people with hurt feelings, but the prophetic and apostolic voices urge us on mission for the sake of the lost. We've lost those driving, urging voices that hurt feelings sometimes.