How To Hit Your Target Audience

One of the biggest mistakes we make in youth ministry is assuming every teen that walks in the door is on the same page.  We assume our audience has the same religious education, and family background.  We believe they are all facing the same pressures.  When you assume you end up missing the target.

You’ll know you are missing the target audience when you see that:

NO ONE IS RETURNING

Teens will show up at first but when they hear what has to be said they may respond, “Well, that isn’t for me.” Granted you can’t be all things to all people, but you can be the right things to the right audience.  When you hit the right audience you’ll have an impact on their individual lives and the entire community.  

Youth ministries need to know that their target audience is more than teenagers.  To get specific and know exactly who you are trying to reach you need to:

GO TO GOD

God has called you into ministry at a specific time and a specific location.  That means he wants you to be there for a specific reason.  Take time to fast, go to adoration or journal.  Ask God to reveal to you the specific people he wants you to serve. 

KNOW WHAT CONSUMES THEM

The answer is found where they spend their time and their money. What are the teens in your community doing when they aren’t with you? It might be sports, studying, video games or someone’s house. 

When you know what has their attention it will help you speak to them.  You’ll be able to use analogies that are relevant.  You can address areas of their lives that mean the most. Don’t ignore what has their attention.

LEARN ABOUT PAST GENERATIONS

If you know what the past perceptions of church and faith have been you’ll know the roadblocks that stand in the way.  Maybe the children’s program at your church was ineffective.  Maybe the church is a “new thing” to the community.  

Talk to your pastor and older members of the congregation.  They’ll be able to tell you what the community has gone through and the role the church has played. There may be wounds you need to help heal.

EMBRACE THE FAMILY DYNAMIC

You and I only have a limited amount of time with the teenagers we serve.  To really drive home what you want them to know you need to understand how it’s going to be received at home. If most teens have a family dynamic where faith is important you’ll want to enhance it.  If it isn’t you’ll need to figure out how to reach out to families in a new way.

When you know the families you’ll understand who is influencing them.  You’ll see who is supporting them and where they might be discouraged.  Whether the majority of families are broken or solid you need to know they impact your teen’s journey tremendously.

Granted you can look at influences, and pressures that come from social media, and society.  They do have an impact on your target audience; however, to really know them you need to be more specific.  Spend time with God asking for guidance.  Talk with your team to build a strategy so you can meet your audience exactly where they need to be met.

Question: What are some of the characteristics of your target audience?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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