A Consultant’s Rule Number One
I am a consultant. Clients hire my company, and me, to advise them on problems they may have and design solutions to those problems. Sometimes they hire us to implement those solutions, and other times they want us long-term to do the work as well.
Rule number one of consulting is this: Never criticize your client for needing you.
On the surface, it seems silly to have to state this. After all, the client is paying you, and criticism for not possessing your skill(s) is not likely to motivate the client to ask (or pay) you again. It would be as if a barber criticized you for letting your hair grow, or the gas station owner getting upset about you driving too much, or a real estate agent pleading for people to stop buying and selling property so much. Going deeper, it still seems silly to have to state this rule. But, alas, it is necessary, because it’s all too easy to become arrogant about whatever skills you possess, secrets you know, or mistake past good luck for your unique gifts. It is all too easy to become ungraceful. That’s why this rule is Number One.
Violating this rule is economic suicide, and you become irrelevant to clients.
Churches are often perceived as being judgmental. Unfortunately, the perception is often right. But Jesus said not to do that. How did the Boss treat the woman at the well, or the adulteress about to be stoned? Did He attract thousands of people who wanted to hear Him (even without snacks) by berating them? The only groups he criticized consistently were the self-satisfied Pharisees who figured they needed no help. If we, consultants representing the firm of Jesus Inc., view the non-believer as a client, why should we criticize the client for needing what we have found? After all, we were once there as well.
Violating this rule is spiritual suicide, and you become irrelevant to clients.