Who Are The Fish?

The big question of the day is who are the fish? Who are you fishing for? I was going to call this topic, who are you hunting, but the appropriate bit of biblical metaphor is fishing. He calls us to fish for people, not hunt for people though. Perhaps if Jesus was in a different cultural context, he would have used the phraseology of hunting and made it work.

But we will stick with the biblical picture of fishing and ask the question who are the fish, you know, in business and marketing. There’s a lot of talk about target audience and customer avatar. It almost sounds like a new agey kind of thing.

It’s really just describing your ideal customer and I’ve come across all kinds of different worksheets and ways of figuring out your customer avatar. One is simply to ask these questions about the ideal person you’re trying to reach and describe them in terms of age, gender, marital status, any children and where they live. It’s helpful to come up with a quote that is something they would say, what their occupation is, their income and their education.

Then you kind of work through some of what they call psychographics. These ask about what their goals and values might be, what are they seeking to accomplish, what their core values and morality are that guides them. Also asking where do they get their information, books they read, magazines, blog or conferences they go to, as well as asking about the people they follow.

Importantly, and this is a big issue in marketing, what are their challenges, pain points, and what challenges them day after day and causes them pain. Kind of tied to that is who do they see as their enemy, who is opposed to them, or who are they opposed to.

As you think about what you’re calling them to do and really the decision you’re calling them to make, what are their objections. Other question are what do they actually need to do to respond and think through exactly what that would look like in their life and help identify the barriers to they might have to responding. I think you can see quite easily that this does apply very easily to ministry, to evangelism, and to really recruiting of any level.

I’m actually designing a new community right now, and as a part of that community online, they had a great guide for walking through some of these questions. One of the pieces of this guide is this little template that isn’t just about the target audience, but also about your mission and purpose.

It says, “We bring together __________,” and that first blank is a description of your ideal member, basically what we’ve already talked about. “We bring together _____________ kind of person, these kinds of people,” and then you describe what your community is all about and what your ideal members are going to do together. Then you list some of the results of what will happen when you do these things together. What are the spectacular things you hope to do together?

So in the community I’ve been developing, it’s pretty simple and actually pretty straightforward. The community we’re building is to bring together passionate followers of Jesus Christ, to learn to follow Jesus on mission, so that can we can reach our family and friends with the Gospel and bring the Kingdom to our spheres of influence and fulfill His call to be disciples who make disciples.

That’s the rough draft wording right now, but you see how just thinking that through and writing it down and then shaping what you do around those things will really give some focus to your ministry, your events, your groups, and whenever you’re doing big services.

We’re so tempted to say we’re called to reach everybody go and make disciples of all nations. That’s true, but I’m not going to make disciples of all nations and neither are you. That is our call corporately as the capital Church, but what is your call? Who are the kinds of people you are called to reach and to serve.

Think and pray that through, and then based on that plan, how are you going to serve them? How are you going to reach them? How are you are going to be a disciple who makes disciples with them?

Hope you’re having an outstanding day. God bless, press on.

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