Advocate, Apathetic, or Curmudgeon?

A few weeks ago, one of our leaders here at Matthews United Methodist Church closed a meeting using a concept with which I was previously unfamiliar. He spoke about a principle used in business called NPS, which stands for Net Promoter Score.

The NPS illustrates the level at which people are promoting your service, product, or whatever you offer to the public. This system is vital for gaining feedback that decision makers use to improve the overall experience for their target audience. The NPS all begins with one question: On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our service/product to a friend or colleague? An organization then takes the responses and places each into one of three categories:

Those who answer with a 9 or 10 are Promoters.

Those who answer with a 7 or 8 are Passives.

Those who answer with a 0 to 6 are Detractors.

This system of evaluation and pursuing feedback hit me right in the heart! The NPS is a great revealer of passion. Promoters radiate passion. And people follow passion. I immediately began to wonder how many people I lead would be in the 9-10 range as promoters of both their relationship with Jesus Christ and their love for the local church.

Everyone who professes the label “Christian” and is somehow affiliated with a local church needs to answer this question for him or herself.

So here is my churchified equivalent applying the NPS principle to my world:

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to speak about your relationship with Jesus when given the opportunity and, secondly, invite a friend to attend your local church?

Those who answer with a 9 or 10 are Advocates.

Those who answer with a 7 or 8 are Apathetics.

Those who answer with a 0 to 6 are Curmudgeons.

So where do you fall on this CAS (Church Advocate Score)?

Self-awareness is key. I’m afraid that too many Apathetics and Curmudgeons view ourselves as Advocates. “I love my church,” we claim. But how many of us can point to a real life conversation in which we share the story of our faith or invite someone we know to a worship experience or small group environment? Raising CAS self-awareness is my problem to figure out and I will continue to do so as I encourage people to advocate for how God is continuing to deliver on His promise of hope in our world.

The CAS is a concept that the organized local church sometimes misses. We tend to simply do what we do and give little attention to evaluation expecting everyone involved to be an Advocate just because they should be. We are then shocked when people fall into the Apathetic or Curmudgeon category. We, as church leaders, must determine and evaluate people’s level of passion about their faith and their view of the local church. One responsibility of the local church is to be a vehicle leading people into relationship with Jesus. If those we lead are not exuding passion, then the vehicle is sputtering, and we need to know why. Then do some maintenance on the vehicle.

By the way, if you qualify as a Curmudgeon, I strongly recommend you spend your energy finding a local church about which you can be a strong Advocate.

To better understand the NPS concept, check out this video.

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