I got my first Walkman® when I was 16 so I could listen to the radio while I delivered newspapers. Imagine! Coupling music with work. Having that flexibility was a great solution.
Back in the Canadian city where I grew up, my parents listened to CFNB; but I preferred the more “hip” CIHI. Occasionally I even listened to CFQM, our country station at the time. What’s amazing is that I didn’t have to look up those call letters, I still remember them. I bet you can too if you’re older than 35.
There were so few stations and each one was “known for something”.
Today’s different although I still listen to music while I work and travel. I often listen to iHeart radio (or Spotify) and one of its many stations. I’m not even sure what I’m listening to most of the time. It’s just “music”. When I get tired of one station, I move on.
Sounds like church doesn’t it? People have lots of churches to choose from (if they want “church”). And people “try” a church for awhile and then move on when they get bored.
Think about radio stations for a second. They aren’t really selling music. They’re selling ads. And music is simply the way a station gets us to listen to the ads. And in order to sell ads a station needs listeners.
Since music is available everywhere now, iHeart needs to think differently to attract. Instead of “music”; they started thinking about a problem their music could solve. Someone on their marketing team realized that all their listeners need sleep and therefore they need to be awakened. So, they built an alarm clock app that turns on iHeart automatically every morning. Brilliant.
Your church wants to tell people about Jesus. But you need people to come to your services in order to tell people or empower members to tell others.
Stop thinking about your programs (though they’re certainly important), you need to concentrate on what solutions you have for a pain/need that most of your community experiences.
And then communicate that solution. It will attract people so you can carry out your mission. It’s good, Biblical evangelism. Be known for a solution. Like the iHeart alarm clock.
Wake up church! Without a communicated solution; people will solve their pains another way.