In one of the presentations on marketing at MarCom 2015, the presenter talked about the importance of understanding your audience better so you can serve them better.
He went on to quote the following statistics:
87% of Millennials say they believe in Jesus
47% say they go to church
The question we need to answer is: Why such a big difference? Why do so many say they believe in Jesus, but don't go to church?
The answer isn't rocket science. The advice they gave answer was to get out in your community and ask.
It really is that simple. You can't look it up somewhere; you can't do a study. If you want to know the answer to why people don't go to church in your community, just ask them.
But don't ask the person directly because you don't want the person to be defensive. Instead, ask them "Why don't people today like to go to church?"
You'll find that when you ask about people in general, the person you are asking will almost always give you their personal answer.The "people" they talk about are themselves and their friends. This is invaluable marketing research for reaching your community.
Effective Church Communication application ideas
A great way to put this into practice is for a group of you from church to go out to a mall or other gathering place in your community, tell people you are taking a 3 question religious opinion survey and ask if they could give you 60 seconds of their time (it really doesn't take long). Here are the questions:
1. Do you believe in Jesus? (no lengthy answer needed, just yes or no)
2. Do most of people you know go to church? (yes or no)
3. Why do you think people go or don't like to go to church? (Here let them talk as much as they want and take notes, but don't push for lengthy answers.)
Afterwards, thank them for their time and if at all possible, have a business card that says something like this to give to each person:
Thanks so much for taking time
to answer our questions!
We really do value your opinion.
If you'd like to find out more about Jesus
please come to our church (add or info)
or visit our website (add info) or
contact me (if you are comfortable sharing a personal email).
After each person has asked 3-5 or up to 10 people, meet back at church or someone's home and share the results. Ask these questions of your group:
What did you learn about the people in our community you didn't know before?
What was the biggest surprise?
How can we use what we learned to reach these people for Jesus?
Then pick ONE thing you can do and do it in the coming month. Don't make it complex, it can be as simple as changing how you view the people around you.
Close your time by praying for the individuals you spoke to and continue to remember them in prayer.
Last bits of advice
You can do this as a small group, a staff or parts of staff, or a few interested people in the church. Don't make a big deal committee project out of it or something that needs 5 levels of approval before you find out more about the people in your community who need Jesus.
This is not a "witnessing" project—you are simply trying to learn more about the people the Lord has given you to reach in your community. If you have the opportunity and want to share more, that's fine, but you don't have to.
Don't be afraid. Be an objective interviewer and you'll learn a lot. Pray for the Lord's insight and wisdom to use what you've learned to reach your community for Him.
Finally, REPEAT the process.You want to keep in touch with the people you are trying to reach. Don't try to figure them out—get to know them.