Browse
Personal Preferences

Personal Preferences

Posted December 18, 2012 by Jerod Clark

My dad and I shop in different ways.  While we’re both Apple kind of guys, where we buy those slick looking devices differs. You see, even though we live in different states, we share something about our locations. For both of us Best Buy is the closest electrics retailer and the nearest Apple Store is about 30 minutes away. Yet when we are looking to buy the latest Apple gadget or accessory, I make the drive to the Apple Store and he ends up walking through the doors underneath the big, yellow Best Buy price tag.

I’m not 100% sure why this happens. I know I like the atmosphere, expertise and feel of being in an Apple Store.  My dad chats with the blue shirts at Best Buy, but always calls me to see if he got the right advice. I think he cares less about the shopping experience and more about the convenience of getting the devise in his hands quickly.

Whatever the reason for our shopping choices, this small example shows that different people have different tastes.

As churches, we need to remember that. We may be doing everything right in terms of good communication, great Sunday worship and connecting people with the community, yet personal preference may keep someone from making a first (or return) visit to your church. You may be doing the best contemporary worship music in town, but that visitor might be looking for something more traditional. It’s the classic relationship line, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

So if we know that people’s preferences play a role in determining where they go to church, there are a few things I think we should always keep in mind as communicators.

Don’t try to be something you’re not. You are not the church down the street. You can do an average job trying to be the church you aren’t or you can do a great job at being the church you are. God has gifted congregations with certain strengths. Use them.

Do the best with the resources you have. It’s easy to drool over the things other churches are doing, especially in the communications realm. They might have a slicker website or better equipment. But lusting after another church leads to you ignoring what you already have in front of you. 

For the past several months, I’ve been going to a small church near my home. While it’s far smaller than churches I’ve gone to in the past, I really appreciate that they don’t let their size get them down. From a tech standpoint, they don’t have a lot of fancy lighting rigs, but they adjust the normal lights throughout a worship service to change the mood. They use best practices in communications by including lots of visuals and less text in the weekly bulletin. Are they perfect? No. Are they trying hard to be best they can with the resources they have? Absolutely. 

It’s better to work with other churches than compete with them. Instead of copying the church down the street, what if you tried to partner with them? Are there strengths you have that they don’t—and vice versa? God has uniquely blessed and equipped churches in different ways, so think of the impact we could have working together. I know this is easier to say than to do. But I can envision a more impactful church when we quit wasting time being depressed about what we don’t have, and start working together to grow what we do have. Nothing communicates God’s love better than seeing the entire church in action—together!

The urge of wanting what other churches have is especially strong this time of year.  We see the cool graphics and events someone else is doing for Christmas and wish we could do the same thing. Fight that. Your church will have an impact on someone this Christmas. Make the most of that opportunity.
 

Filed under: Mission and Vision, Visitor's Perspective

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (0)

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Snappy Solutions
Snappy Solutions
1

Posted February 13, 2019 by Matthew Hooper

Snapchat is one of the many social communication options around. It’s unique feature of deleting posts means you needs to navigate this social channel in a completely different way.
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
The Best Time to Post on Facebook
0

Posted February 11, 2019 by Jordan Gorveatte

With algorithms and engagement constantly changing, what are the best times to post on Facebook? We break it down for you here.
Instagram and the Visual Web
Instagram and the Visual Web
0

Posted February 6, 2019 by Bryan Haley

Your church needs to think more visually. Instagram’s wild success and influence is continuing to move the web toward visual.
4 Things Churches Need to Stop Posting on Social Media
4 Things Churches Need to Stop Posting on Social Media
6

Posted February 4, 2019 by Robert Carnes

There’s plenty of articles talking about what the church could add to their social media channels. This article is the opposite of that—four things that churches should stop adding online.
The McDonald’s Method
The McDonald’s Method
1

Posted January 29, 2019 by Matthew Hooper

3 guys walk into a church. They all question what year they walked into. Should you update your building’s look? How should you go about a building update?
Good Websites Remove Barriers
Good Websites Remove Barriers
1

Posted January 22, 2019 by Bryan Haley

After moving to a new city, we started looking online for a new church, and it made me realize how many churches don’t prioritize their website. A poor website does nothing to help potential guests want to show up on Sunday. Here’s how a good website removed barriers.
2019 Design Trends Forecast
2019 Design Trends Forecast
2

Posted January 17, 2019 by Gage Hunt

What should your church be expecting out of graphic design trends this year? Here's our best guess.
15 of the Best Church Websites for 2019
15 of the Best Church Websites for 2019
0

Posted January 15, 2019 by Bryan Haley

We've spent dozens of hours searching the web to find the best church websites in North America. Here are 15 of the best church websites this year.
Go Live or Go Home: Streaming Strategy for Small Churches
Go Live or Go Home: Streaming Strategy for Small Churches
1

Posted December 27, 2018 by Matthew Hooper

Thanks to Youtube, Facebook Live, and the advent of affordable smartphones, anyone can get in on the online church game. Here are some questions to work through to set up a winning strategy with taking your church live.
A Checklist for Your Ministry’s Online Strategy in 2019
A Checklist for Your Ministry’s Online Strategy in 2019
1

Posted December 20, 2018 by Tyler Rominger

Here are some thoughts, formed into a checklist of sorts, in order to help you form your organization’s online strategy for 2019.