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Monday, June 22, 2009

The Target (The Cue Philosophy Part IV)

It has been a popular practice in churches over the past decade or so to take a cue from the business world and clearly define their “target audience.” This language is somewhat unpalatable to us though we certainly understand why many think it is important. Bottom line, churches who define target audiences are usually asking questions about who they are catering to, who is in their neighborhood, and how they should tailor their programs and messages to meet the particular needs of that group. In many ways, this is how businesses approach sales. Is my community interested in my product? How much are they willing to pay? How can I surface their need to buy? What are their particular needs and how can my product meet that need . . . so they buy it?

At Westwinds, in relation to programs and The Cue, our approach is different in more ways than it is similar. We certainly would agree it is unwise to believe one model or device that works well in one demographic would work as well in another. For instance, drama may work just fine in South Barrington but may be a miserable failure in South Beach. However, instead of asking, “who is our target audience?” we ask a different question based on who we are, our personalities and culture, our backgrounds, and the kind of bona fide creativity and thought patterns that flow from within. We ask, “who will most likely be attracted to Westwinds?”

The religious disenfranchised, the spiritually curious, the artist and the intellectual will most likely be attracted to Westwinds. That is who we are. It is safe to say many are thriving in our environment who would not readily place themselves in that category but, such is life. We are attracted to what we are attracted to. We celebrate this.

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