Having been in sales since I’ve been an adult, I understand the power of perception. First impressions mean everything when it comes to building relationships.
Having started a business that is also a ministry, both traits remain equally important. Perceptions and relationships are key to success. The difference in business and ministry? Eternity.
Now my goal is blending both business and ministry to determine how they best merge to become one. For the most part it comes natural. There are ups, downs, and much in between.
We call on a lot of people. Businesses, ministries, and churches. We call on a lot of churches. My co-worker is half my age and of the direct demographic seeing huge declines in church attendance. Most her age, early to mid 20’s, don’t go at all.
“That is why my generation does not go to church!” She was angry. We had just left a church. The perception was painfully powerful. We were not just not welcome, they sneered at us. And we went in all perky! Carrying magazines with a feature story about the co-producer of God’s Not Dead. Another issue about a NFL Football star who is sold out for Christ. We went in hopeful of a new relationship. We left vowing to never ever go back. Ever.
The reason my co-worker was angry is because she counts the cost. Which is why we do what we do, publish a magazine to uplift Christians and encourage non-Christians. Our stressed out world is starving for encouragement. Especially Christians.
We all have bad days. Lord knows I’ve blown my share of opportunities. But in this case two different people made it known we were not welcome and were not to come back. So it wasn’t just some random careless act. Additionally we are not afraid of no’s, we get plenty as to be expected. We are not thin skinned whiners who don’t know how to take rejection.
The stakes are high. Perceptions and first impressions are determining factors in how others view God from Godly people. While I won’t say we don’t have room for error, we don’t have room for unkind judgements that hurt others.
Thankfully we both are strong in our faith and recovered quickly. Yet each month as we pass by that location, we shake our heads knowing we aren’t going to stop. We don’t have time to waste. Thankfully the majority of our meetings are exciting, productive and we make new friends daily.
Perception? It’s painfully powerful. Statistics prove the world is reading and responding. We must change. Today’s pick of the day.