Peter Drucker was known for asking great questions. I love his line that “the important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question. For there are few things as useless–if not dangerous–as the right answer to the wrong question (The Practice of Management).”
“What business are you in?” is one of my favorite Drucker questions. Reflecting about the power of this both simple and profound question, Drucker wrote, “That the question is so rarely asked—at least in a clear and sharp form—and so rarely given adequate study and thought, is perhaps the most important single cause of business failure.”
Clearly, Drucker believed that knowing what business you are in is very important. Do you? Have you ever sat down and puzzled through a defining statement about the business you are in? I’ve written about this many times. I’ve even posted a few examples. But I’m wondering if you’ve ever figured out for yourself, for your own ministry, what business you are in?
You may believe you are in the connecting business and all you are doing or the main thing you are doing is connecting people. Or you may believe you are in the disciple-making business. Alternatively, you might have decided you are in the life-change business or the transformation business.
Doing the hard work of figuring out the answer to the question is critical but only rarely done. And that’s unfortunate because until you find this answer you can’t answer the next question. What’s the next question? “How’s business?” See also, If I Was Starting Today, The First Question Every Small Group Pastor Must Answer and Clue #4 When Designing Your Small Group System.
Image by Daniel Foster