“For fifty years, TV and TV-thinking was the shortcut. Make average stuff for average people (by definition = mass) and promote to every stranger within reach.” - Seth Godin
This type of mass marketing is changing (in fact, it's dying) and so are the expectations of your audience. They aren’t completely satisfied with being talked to just like everyone else. More and more individuals are identifying with micro markets instead of mass markets. They are drawn to a more personal experience than one designed for the “average person”.
This undoubtably will begin to effect how we preach and who will listen. Over the next 5 years the church will need to wrestle with this change in expectations. As multisite, mega & giga churches continue to grow in popularity we will have to begin wrestling with the tension between multiplying our impact yet remaining local.
Mass media is going away and it’s taking mass preaching with it.
For many years it has been good enough to apply what were were teaching to “society”, to speak with general observations, even to preach the same message in Seattle, Toronto or Atlanta. But generalities won’t work for much longer.
If we are going to continue to be effective communicators we will have to speak directly to our community.
That means we need to know what our audience (already attending) is dealing with, but we also need to know what our new audience (who we are trying to reaching) is dealing with. It’s not good enough to speak in broad statements. We’ll need to do the research, to get out into our community and understand what they are dealing with. We’ll need to speak directly to our community, directly to the people that live in our 30 minute radius.
Take Paul’s letters for example. The concepts he was teaching have applied to many different people for thousands of years after he wrote them, but at it’s core he was writing to a very specific audience. His letters were extremely local...but they weren't limiting.
We will need to, now more than ever, understand what it means to live in our specific community and what it means to preach locally.