For the past five years I’ve had my hair cut at one business, primarily by one lady. Prior to that, my hair was cut by just about everyone. Seriously – I had friends do it, my wife tried to once, and random barbers and ladies at the mall salons all trimmed my mullet. Everyone had access to my lovely locks and I basically never returned to the same location twice. But that all changed when my lovely wife told me I should go to the lady she goes to and never go anywhere else.
So I’m a repeat customer!
At first, I was just going where my wife told me to go because I was doing the “trying-to-be-a-good-husband” thing. Then I started thinking about this from a missional aspect and considered the strategic wisdom of doing such. Plus, it’s amazing how the people that I meet regularly play a surprisingly bright role in my life, be it Ashley, who cuts my hair, or a couple of the waitresses that serve my meals or pour my coffee. Boy, my wife is so smart (and beautiful too!).
For the past three years I’ve taught a class on being missional and often spend time discussing this concept. There’s something about being a repeat customer that feels extremely missional to me. It’s probably because I’ve found a ton of opportunities to share my faith with people that I regularly see, so being regular has that advantage. Actually, just being present in their lives makes a difference in the same way that their being present in mine affects me.
Being present. That’s missional 101. Being consistently present is missional 101.1
This is not simply a small town method. When I imagine myself thirty years from now, I see myself living in a larger city located in another country and spending a lot of time in a few key locations, interacting with the same people on a regular basis. Being a repeat customer for the kingdom of God works everywhere! But in small town U.S.A., this is essential to a missional strategy. Why? Because you don’t want people to only see you when you are leaving town! In fact, you will lose many opportunities to interact with people if you are only seen driving to another city to shop and run errands. It doesn’t sit well with locals.
So think missionally about what businesses you frequent and consider how you can be present more often. You’ll be amazed at the opportunities that take place when you become a repeat customer.
Have any examples of how this has worked for you?
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.