Three Clarifying Questions For Communication

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I’ve been reading a book called Rethink Communication by Phil Bowdle. It’s a timely book to read in the light of the instant pressure put on the church to connect and communicate without meeting in person.

Any time we plan to push something out, roll out a program or ministry, or share an invitation, we must ask and answer three clarifying questions. If we don’t clarify our message, it will be difficult for people to grasp hold of it and respond with a clear action.

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What’s the win for your message?
  3. What are the barriers to your message?

As we work to answer these questions, they begin to become easier. Fine-tuning our audience for each message will help us define what we’re actually saying.

Who is your target?

Have a picture in your mind of the person you see reading and responding to this message. Getting an image of someone who will be reading helps you understand your target audience. In the ministry world, different messages may be aimed at different people.

What is your win?

Knowing what action you want people to take helps you determine if your communication will be effective. Will the call to action create a response? Will people sign up, give, engage, pray, do, or respond to your message in any other way? That’s your win!

What are the barriers?

Knowing potential barriers will help you send a clearer message. For example, time of day can be a barrier for audiences who are in school or at work during the day; sending them a message in the evening might be better than 1:15 pm. Medium used can be another barrier.

Keep working at answering these three questions every time you endeavor to share something of value with your people.

If you are serving in church ministry, this book would be excellent for you and your staff. Every ministry area can benefit.

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