Who the Message of No-Longer-Common is For?
I recently did some deep thinking about who the content and message of “no longer common” was really for. As a person of faith, I wanted to use this message to do a couple of things: 1) encourage believers to be the best version of themselves and 2) attract those who are not believers to become one and become the best version of themselves. Sounds good doesn’t? The problem is that I’ve found the message was too inclusive and seemed somewhat vague. It’s like trying to have a conversation with an individual about their personal issues yet there are several other unrelated persons in the room. So, I’d like to paint a clearer picture for you and even for me; a clearer picture for the folks this content targets in an effort to serve you best while fulfilling my assignment at the same time.
It’s important to know your audience.
As I started on the journey to refine my audience I needed to understand the importance. Knowing one’s audience allows you to include and engage everyone appropriately when writing, speaking, posting, and communicating. This opens the door for successful communication. Having the right group or crowd is like having a cheat-sheet to keeping them engaged in the material.
I originally defined my audience as the Christian church. Church people, even though I never really wanted to mention the church as to eliminate those who aren’t affiliated with one. I thought this message should be to those who attend or have attended church, but for whatever reason no longer attend. This group includes people who feel the church isn’t meeting their expectations. It’s for Christians who have given their best to live up to the standards, but still fall short. It’s those who have been bruised by religion. Our message is to those who have been hurt, want to quit, and just don’t see this Christ-thing working out or making their life better. While this is still our target for the message of “no longer common,” there’s a little refining that we need to do.
I’ve been a little reluctant in sharing the raw content I’d like to share at NoLongerCommon.com. The reason is that I wanted to be an equal opportunity blogger. What I mean is I wanted to include more people than just my target audience. I wanted to lead other unchurched people to Jesus, but that’s not my audience. After some thinking, that’s the job of my audience once I do my job to inspire the heck out of you to be the unique gift that only you can be. Our audience is the person who has dreams, goals, and a desire to be uncommon, a gift that can only come from God.
Doing good to those in the family of faith.
Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone-especially to those in the family of faith [the no-longer-common family]. – bible.com/116/gal.6.10.nlt
When I saw this phrase (family of faith) for the first time, I liked it and was a little surprised at the phrasing. So I decided to review it in other Bible translations.
KJV says …the household of faith.
NIV reads …the family of believers.
MSG uses …the community of faith.
These phrases represent a specific group and by it’s specificity it eliminates other groups. So in writing to benefit the group I need to, I must be specific otherwise the message may lose its effectiveness. This message even-though it will fall into the hands of many more is intended for those in the family of faith. Notice I’m not saying those who go to church or are church-goers, even many of them certainly do qualify. These are two different groups.
Let’s discuss my refining in more detail.
I will attempt to do this by answering two questions:
- Who this message is not intended for?
- Not for the regular church attendees. The message of “no longer common” is not for that person who feels they’re living up to their greatest potential by checking the attendance box for attending church services regularly. It’s not for those who go to church on Sunday and live without church the other six days.
- Not for those who recite the same prayer daily. This message to be “no longer common” is not intended for folks who feel okay with a prayer they’ve committed to memory like a robot.
- Not for those who think their church is the only one they can attend. In fact, this “no longer common” message isn’t for those who have anything against another church of the living God.
- Not for those who don’t want to acknowledge the Bible as the principle guide for life. This message of “no longer common” applies God’s ways and rules to life and is not intended for those who don’t enjoy reading it, studying it, and applying it properly, but not commonly.
- Not for people who don’t expect to have results like the stories presented in scripture. This message isn’t for people who believe that what happened to Moses, David, Daniel, Paul, etc. doesn’t happen to people today.
I think you’ve getting the picture on who it’s not intended for.
- Who this message is perfect for?
Our audience consists of people who’ve decided to go all in on their walk of faith. They are not your average go-to-church-once-a-week-Christians. They are the ones who desire to do something about those being wounded by “the church”? They’re the ones who wish to help people avoid injustice, being wronged, and even hurt by the church, the number one reason people stop going. They are not the ones who help those who see serving others as a chore and help renew their passion of servicing in their local church and more importantly their world.
- Those who don’t hide behind religion to keep the world away, but rather skilled at inviting ordinary people in.
- Those who don’t just talk, but instead act.
- Those who are uncommon, finding a way to make things happen and don’t just sit back, complain, and let things stay the way it is.
- Those who have a dream of doing what no one else is doing.
- Those who have a purpose that no one else has.
- Those who go to church, but long to have a significant impact on their world.
- Those who see things not as they are, but as they can be.
- Those who don’t quote scripture but live it. There’s a big difference between someone who can quote a bunch of scripture passages and those who actually have the results the Bible promises. I have a friend who, like Nehemiah, went to his boss so that he could start a mentorship program in the urban school system. He needed to be able to leave work early every other Friday and this was unheard of in his corporate office. He presented his plan to the person he reports and just like the King granted Nehemiah his request, so did this manger for my friend. The “no longer common” message is for people who dare to live it.
My job to create an experience.
It’s my job to create what I call a “Kerry A. Clark experience” for my audience. When I’m too inclusive I have to be gentle, less direct, and unable to share the things that a less inclusive audience can benefit. Thusly, I end up helping very few.
“If I am working on anything or doing anything that no one else knows of, I’m helping no one but myself.” – Kerry A. Clark
By refining our audience, we get to allow our gift to shine and attract those who truly need what we have to offer. We also get to place those needs as a priority for what we share. We’ve learned that when I speak to someone, I am not only speaking to them but to those they influence. So I want to give you all my best because this message of being “no longer common” is spreading beyond my small world into yours.
Today we’re hearing of pastors committing suicide; how can this be? It’s because they too can stumble with being ordinary. The message of “no longer common” is not to sugarcoat it, but to reveal to those that can handle it and need it to drive them to do something about it. We don’t get to be average, that’s not what it means to have a God encounter. Such an encounter is guaranteed to take you out of the “normal” category and it’s our job at nolongercommon.com to show you how.