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Can Your Faith Community Learn Anything from the Business World?

Photo close-up on a desk covered in papers and a notebook. Papers display various colorful graphs.
Category - Religion
by Lisa Eifert on January 30th, 2017

Faith communities face many challenges in the 21st century. At the root of many of them? The inability to engage constituents in a meaningful way. But this problem isn’t specific to congregations, parishes, churches, synagogues, and other faith-based groups. And while the effects may manifest in very different ways, the fact remains that 21st century businesses struggle with the same issues every day.

The good news for your religious organization? Many of the strategies businesses successfully employ to overcome these issues can also be applied by your faith community toward better member engagement in support of your overall mission.

21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Constituents

Convinced that the tactics and strategies used by contemporary businesses aren’t relevant to your faith-based community? Think about it this way: Whether the aim is to sell more products or to cultivate a more robust, dynamic congregation, one key element remains at the heart of everything an organization does: its constituents. In short: If you can’t understand what they want and deliver on it in the most efficient, effective way, you won’t succeed.

But today’s consumers are very different today than they were in the past. This means that business and religious entities alike share another common imperative: evolve or perish. And the steps toward the former are surprisingly well-aligned—whatever the nature of your organization.

Carryover Concepts from Business to Faith Communities

Whether you’re working toward increasing weekly attendance, promoting volunteership among your members, growing your youth ministry, or any other goal, you may be experiencing a frustrating lack of progress if you’re going about things the same old way. By taking a closer look at how businesses stay ahead of the curve, however, you can position your organization to overcome these obstacles. Because while the specifics may vary, the overarching principles are the same.

The takeaway? While the religious and business sectors have little in common on the surface, this doesn’t mean that one can’t learn from the other. Quite the opposite, in fact. The truth is that your faith-based community has plenty to learn from today’s forward-thinking models. Specifically, we’ve identified five key concepts which transition from the business to faith-based organizations.