I wrote the first part of this for a college English assignment thirteen years ago and after reading it, I believe it is as relevant today as it was then. I added the church shopping comparison today.
The first group is The Strollers. They have come just to spend some time. They aren't necessarily shopping for anything; they enjoy the atmosphere. They gaze into each store window, even pausing for a time to admire the new merchandise. The Strollers seldom purchase anything; they are window-shopping. They might wander into a store and check the price tags on a few items. The purpose of this is not to determine if they can afford it, but to keep abreast of the latest price changes and styles. You will seldom see a Stroller checking the location information stations, as they really don't care which part of the mall they're in, as long as they are able to walk around freely and occasionally stop for a cup of coffee or a snack.
You will recognize the Strollers by their slow pace, which is a definite irritant to the next group: Shoppers On A Mission. This group comes to the mall for a specific item or items and will not be deterred until they find it. They are not interested in 'window shopping,' and don't usually care about price comparisons; they know what they want and are in a hurry to get it. They are in a find and conquer mode. They want to spend as little time as possible at the mall, they don't want to run into friends and chat or have a cup of coffee. They definitely do not have any patience for anyone who slows down their pace.
The next group is the Power Shopper. They know what they want; however, they can be easily distracted if they see a better deal or find something more appropriate than their original idea. They CAN and WILL 'shop till they drop.' This is their favorite form of recreation and they cannot imagine a week of abstinence from the mall. Shopping runs in their blood and gives them purpose in life. The Power Shoppers will easily spend an entire day at their favorite past time.
Each of these groups encompasses all ages, races and both genders. They may or may not have young children with them. While it is true having very young children with them may hamper their particular style of shopping; they will still hold true to the descriptions of The Stroller, The Shopper On A Mission or The Power Shopper.
If you haven't visited a mall in a while, I suggest you find some time, go to the mall of your choice, buy a beverage, select a bench and sit back and observe. I guarantee you will spot all three types of shoppers. Just remember, each group has its own agenda and you don't want to get in the way.
I think perhaps the same descriptions can be applied to people looking for a new church home. The Strollers leisurely wander from church to church, just feeling good about being there but never really settling in. The Shoppers On A Mission are intent on finding what they want...the music, the message and the programs need to be exactly what they are looking for. They don't want to help, volunteer, or be a part of anything. Just get there on Sunday and get back home; quickly. The Power Shoppers can and do enjoy being there and want to be involved in everything; occasionally to the neglect of their families or other commitments.
Perhaps we need to be a composite of these groups. What are your thoughts?
Do you recognize yourself in one of these groups? Shopping at the mall or for a church?