Friday, May 23, 2008

Know Your Market

When communicating your message, there are many things to consider. The most important however, is your market. You need to know what language they speak (literally and figuratively), and communicate your message in a way they can understand.

My wife an I are looking to buy our first house. We are very excited, and are constantly trying to be aware of properties available. One area has a lot of new condos that look very nice, so of course I have been casually watching it. I had a conversation with my boss about it today, and he said they were going for over $400,000. If we were still in Orange County, that would be a steal...but we aren't. We are in the High Desert. You can easily buy a nice house in a nice area for $250,000. That is a painfully clear example of the problems that beset you when you don't understand the market. While the O.C. lifestyle might appeal to people in the High Desert, the finances aren't here to support it.

The way we communicate our message as a church is no different. We need to understand our market, and make our choices based on it. How are we making our decisions? Are we looking at our needs in the context of our own community, or are we looking at what other churches are doing to meet their needs? Look to others for a guide on how to travel the course, but don't follow. Each church needs to solve its own problems in the context of it's community or it will not be as effective as it should be.