Marketing the Gospel Day1: Your Target Market
Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:46-47, ESV)
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14, ESV)
Your first thought when considering the concept of “sharing the gospel” isn’t typically about business. It may sound silly and even corny, but we are in the business of sharing the gospel. Think about what Christ called the disciples to be: fishers of men. Fishing is an occupation and a business. For fishers to be successful, they must have knowledge of the craft, have the correct supplies, keep the supplies clean and mended, and find the best fishing spots. There are different baits, lures, lines, rods, nets, you name it—all in the name of catching fish! That’s what sharing the gospel is like, and why Christ referred to them as fishers of men.
When approaching your marketing strategy, there are a few aspects you want to outline before getting to work, one of them being the target market. The target market is the group of people who are most likely to want or need what you’re selling. The gospel is unlike any other business because everyone (literally!) is in need of its truth. As we know, everyone is a sinner and in need of salvation, and Christ’s sacrifice was made for all. Before you start to panic—no, your target market is not the whole world. Well, not you specifically. The church as a whole is responsible for sharing the gospel worldwide, and as members of local churches, we are like sales reps. We have our own individual target markets and it has a lot to do with who we are and the gifts God has given us.
How do you know who to target with the gospel? Well, first you have to consider location. You are responsible for sharing the gospel in your local community. There is not one of us who lives in a community where there are no souls in need of salvation. Everywhere you look there is a person who needs the gospel. Now, these are different times. In days past, people were a little more trusting and maybe even a little more open to hearing about the gospel, although there has always been a certain resistance. When once you could cry out on a street corner or put up a gospel tent, now people are more uncertain and a little wary of messages from strangers. So, where do you start?
Start with people who are comfortable with you. If you’re an 85-year-old man, it is not likely that a 20-year-old girl will feel comfortable chatting. The most receptive people will likely be your own peers. It’s innately human to feel more comfortable around people you perceive as equals. I don’t want to discourage you from speaking to anyone of any age or gender, but if you’re looking for a place to start, your peers are such a place.
As I said, the gospel is for everyone, so if you have someone in mind who wouldn’t necessarily fit in your peer group, know that the most important aspect of marketing is a person’s desire for wanting what you have to offer. Your audience is anyone who is willing and able to engage in a conversation with you. It’s most likely that God put these people in your path because He wants you to share the gospel with them. Your best audience is your warmest audience, so if you have someone in mind, pray that the Lord opens up an opportunity for you to share the gospel with them.
My challenge for you today is to take inventory. Look at the resources you have, the people you have in your life, and the places where you could share the gospel. You can even write down names of people you can chat with, whether it’s a close friend, coworker, family member, or group member. Pray for doors to open in conversations, availability to talk with them, and that the Lord would guide you in speaking clearly and confidently. I guarantee He will present you with opportunities to share the gospel if you are willing and able.