Seth Godin consistently writes top notch posts, and today was another one. He writes about the challenge of being deeper or wider.
Once your business hits a natural plateau, it’s tempting to invest in getting more people to come. And what most buffets do is double down. Now, they have bacon, plus they have beans with bacon and turkey-wrapped bacon. Now, instead of one chocolate cake, they have three.
This is essentially useless. You haven’t done anything to grow your audience. The base might be a little more pleased, but not enough to bring in any new business. And the disenfranchised (the vegans, the weight watchers, the healthy eaters, the kosher crowd) remain unmoved and uninterested.
So, there are two ways to go. Much deeper, or a bit wider.
Deeper gets you people willing to drive across town to visit you. It’s remarkable. It’s not like every other buffet but a little bit bigger. It’s insanely over the top. People will bully their friends in order to get them to come.
The other choice is wider. Instead of adding a handful of dishes that mildly please the people you already have, why not add brown rice and tofu and vegetarian chili? Now you’ve opened the doors to that last 15%.
Wonderful challenge for the church, are we just going deeper, and therefore encouraging a few more to come, normally through poaching from other churches, or a we providing for that 15% (or in the church’s case probably the other 85%) who haven’t engaged at all with the model of church.
The challenge has to be to go wider, to possible provide a bigger menu of church, ways of inter-acting with each other and God that aren’t just about our classic Sunday menu.