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5/01/2006

THE POWER OF A NICHE

"Great stories are rarely aimed at everyone. Average people are good at ignoring you. Average people have too many different points of view about life and average people are by and large satisfied. If you need to water down your story to appeal to everyone, it will appeal to no one. The most effective stories match the world view of a tiny audience—and then that tiny audience spreads the story."

~ Seth Godin in Ode

4 Comments:

Blogger Tracy said...

That's very interesting! Just a few days ago, my acting coach was saying that as an actor, you should play to the most intelligent person in the audience. I think it's a good point. Why water down a message? It can be condescending and it doesn't give "average" people an opportunity to step up to the plate. And everyone deserves that opportunity.

5/01/2006  
Anonymous jwise said...

Jesus certainly went after a very small niche audience, but it wasn't the most intelligent or the most logical. He went after the sinners who knew they had no chance in the modern "church". 2,000 years later, our mission and audience is still the same. We need to go after those very same people, who know completely well that they're not brilliant, they've wrecked their lives horribly, and they'd never fit in the "church" of today. It's an incredibly small niche, though, especially in America, because pride keeps most people from admitting who they really are.

As for "watering the message down", when you take away the shocker that you're a wicked, wicked man whose every action is an act of hatred against God, it's very difficult to sell your message of "But you can be made right". Paul said that when sin increased, grace increased all the more (Rom. 5:20). That means that the more we realize how sinful we are, the more glorious the Grace appears. But today, we play down the sin.. we've only made a "few mistakes". And in doing so, we've turned Grace into a very, very cheap commodity.

5/02/2006  
Blogger Shaun Groves said...

WHat do you think it sounds to someone who doesn't believe what you believe when you say "We need to go after"? Does it matter how it sounds?

5/02/2006  
Anonymous jwise said...

I think I understand where you're going with that question, but correct me if I'm misunderstanding. I think "go after" can be a phrase used when we "go after" people as though they're a prize to be won -- as if we're only seeking another foreskin for our belt. I apologize if that's how I came across.

I work a great deal with children who live in very ungodly homes. Abuse, neglect, drugs, divorce... you name it, I know a kid who's neck deep in it. To me, "go after" means I'm the guy with a life raft, and they're drowning in a raging river. I "go after" them with the message that there's incredible hope. This terribly broken world is going to be fixed, and even better, we all have the opportunity TODAY to be part of the solution. Even better, though, is to make an impact with the parents, that the whole household might be filled with hope and restoration.

I think "go after" can be very condescending, or it can be very encouraging. It's a matter of context and a matter of what I do alongside my saying, "I'm going after them."

5/02/2006  

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