When I was a little boy my grandfather Weeks, who I called Poppy, taught me how to shoot a 22 rifle. He began by showing me how to be safe and to have the proper shooting technique. Then came the moment of truth. He handed me a single bullet. “You get one shot,” he told me as he leaned against a tree, “Make it count.”
I slid the bullet into the chamber, locked the bolt and pushed off the safety. “One shot,” I thought, “Just one, shot.” I centered the sights on the bottle we had set on a stump, held my breath like Poppy taught me, and I squeezed the trigger. Instantly, there was the sharp report of the gun firing and in the distance the bottle on the stump shattered into a zillion pieces! Success!
Success happened because of two reasons; I knew how to perform the action of aiming and firing the gun and because I knew what my target was.
Let me ask you a question: Who is the target for your church? If you answer, “everybody” you are effectively saying, “nobody.” Poppy taught me that. He said, “If you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time, but you don’t want to hit nothing, you want to hit your target.” So, who is your target?
Years ago, Rick Warren used an imaginary fellow by the name of Saddleback Sam to effectively remind his church who they were attempting to influence with the Gospel. By studying the community Warren’s team determined the age, income level, amount of education, recreational styles and more regarding the “target” for Saddleback Church.
So, who is your Baptist Brad and Beverly? Who are you aiming for? When Brad and Beverly come to your church – you get one shot at a first impression. Brad and Beverly have particular hopes, dreams, likes and dislikes. You can and should know what those things are so you can gear your facilities and ministries to hit the target!
Here’s what that looks like: I was recently in a church that said they wanted to reach young families, but they didn’t have a nursery, so they were going to spend money to add one. After doing a demographic study, however, it was discovered that their community did not have many young families! They were aiming at the wrong target! Are you?
The Church and Leader Development Team can show you how to interpret a demographic study of your community so you can figure out who your Baptist Brad and Beverly are. We can also help you grasp your unique church setting – so you can leverage all that God has provided to accomplish all that God has asked.
I would love to meet with you to hear about your church’s unique situation. Give me a call at 317-481-2400 x229 or send me an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange that. The Church and Leader Development Team, like the rest of SCBI, exists to Exalt Jesus, Encourage Pastors and Equip Churches. We can help!