Reaching Your Secondary Audience

30826_vintage_microphoneJust out of high school I worked as a pitchman. My job was to speak about products in a compelling way as to make the audience want to purchase what I was presenting. I would set up at flea markets and festivals attempting to draw the largest crowds I possibly could. The larger the crowd, the more I sold. The lessons I learned from this job have been invaluable to me in ministry.

One such lesson that I am often reminded of is that the immediate audience is not always the primary audience. The hardest part of developing a crowd is getting the permission to begin a presentation. Permission was granted when I could get one interested party to stop and listen to my presentation. What I found most interesting is that the person who purchased my product was usually not the one who gave me permission to present. Instead, my sales generally came from the onlooker, the person who joined the presentation late and listened from a distance. My immediate audience, the one who gave me permission to begin, rarely became my customer. My customer was the secondary audience.

The same is true in ministry. In youth ministry we have our primary audience: our students, parents, and families that are part of the church. We can have a positive impact on them for Jesus. My experience though is that when our primary audience gives us permission, and we seek to do our presentation well, then a door is opened to the curious onlookers. These onlookers are many times the ones that we get the opportunity to share the gospel with for the very first time. These onlookers or secondary audience can quickly become our “customers” as we share the good news of the resurrection.

A friend once shared with me that he was praying with a church member who was in the hospital. The nurse came into the room and asked to speak with my friend. He was worried because he often prays loudly and was certain that she was going to tell him to keep it down. Instead, the nurse said that her other three patients heard his prayer from their rooms. They all wanted to know if he would also come pray with them.

Friends, may we not shy away from our calling. May we seek to do well in our presentations, whatever they may be, so that we are presented with more opportunities to speak to this secondary audience. After all, the second audience is ripe for the harvest!

About 12 people will read this.
So…why do I write?

I do not write so that I will be known.
I do not write because I feel like everyone needs to hear my voice.
I do not write to share all the “fantastic” insights I believe that I possess.

I write to become better.
I write to learn.
I write so that at times when I have nothing to say, I might have trained just enough to gather a small ounce of something to say- hopefully something that’s meaningful.
I write in hopes that one or two of the 12 people that will read my post may be moved, encouraged and pushed into a deeper faith, and just maybe, be moved into actions of love.

Beautiful Christmas C(h)ord

Throughout Christmas many different videos appear.  This is one of my favorites this year and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Be inspired, remembering that the birth of Jesus CHANGES EVERYTHING.

Lyrical Mondays: “O Come, All Ye Faithful

Adeste Fidelis

In honor of the season of preparation, expecting and hope for the future we will be reflecting upon “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”  I have included the first verse, fifth verse and sixth verse. Two lines stand out to me that I hope you absorb.  The first is from verse five and it says, “Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?”  The second is from verse six and it says, “Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.”  The depth of meaning in this song is inspiring.  May you enjoy the richness of these words.

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold him, born the king of angels;

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger,
we would embrace thee with love and awe.
Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning,
Jesus, to thee be all glory given.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

Words by John F. Wade, 1743; Translated by Frederick Oakeley, 1841.

Hello friends.  You may have heard of the tragedy that struck an elementary school in Connecticut yesterday. Like you are probably feeling, I am full of many emotions. First and foremost I am heart broken. As we mourn the tragedy that has struck these families, may we lift them up in our prayers. Sometimes knowing how to pray can be so very difficult, especially in times like these. Below is a prayer that I hope you pray and reflect on. Take your time and absorb the words deep in your heart and soul as you express them to our gracious Father who feels our deepest pains.

LORD GOD, we don’t know how to pray.
This immense disaster feels overwhelming.
We can only imagine how the victims feel,
and we are so many miles away that we feel helpless.
Surround those directly involved with your loving presence.
Comfort the dead and injured.
Help all of us to remember that your love
is bigger and stronger than despair and destruction.
Guide and strengthen us to reach out to those affected in ways that will bring healing.
Give them and us a sense of your peace and hope.
In the name of Jesus, our friend and healer. Amen.

Prayer from Prayer of Life’s Ordinary and Extraordinary Moments edited by Mary Lou Redding.