This morning, I read five or six blog posts that referred to the same thing, in one way or another. They all wrote about a really important concept for church leaders who have the responsibility for pulling off the weekly Big Show.
(If you’re new here, I usually refer to the weekly worship services as the “Big Show”, as a not-so-subtle reminder of our propensity (got that Krystal?) to turn our services into elaborate productions that require professionals to do on behalf of the adoring crowd who come to watch…and pay…every week.)
The concept is “Know Your Target”.
It’s actually a well-known marketing concept the church co-opted years ago. Companies that are in the business of selling products, following profit margins, and expecting quarterly growth understand it well.
It’s all about knowing who you’re selling to…knowing your demographic…knowing who you’re trying to reach with your product.
In the church, that means since you can’t reach everybody, make sure you define the audience you are best at reaching (or who you desire to reach), and “target” them. Understand them. Identify with their interests and personality. Play to those things that connect with them.
The targeting strategy is built on the idea that if you don’t structure to hit specific kinds of people, you may end up missing the mark altogether. In other words, if you try to reach everybody, you’ll end up reaching nobody…and forever be stuck in the horror and irrelevance of small churchdom.
As a marketing strategy and plan for expansion, I happen to agree with the concept. I even understand the logic of applying a form of it to church family life, although I’ve always struggled with the visual image of people walking around with a bulls-eye on their foreheads. What happens if we only wing them? Yikes.
I don’t mean to be petty, but I guess the fundamental problem I have with targeting an audience for a weekly Big Show, comes from my understanding of the nature of worship.
In worship, there is an audience of one. The only target we are trying to connect with is the one we have come to worship.
And that’s not the awesomeness of the pastor. Nor the hipness of the music. Nor the coolness of the building. Nor the vision of the church. Nor the bounty of the program smorgasbord.
We target the King.