Communicating With a Secular Audience
A crucial issue for today’s church is communication. At the heart of the Christian faith is the message of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Yet today this message is one of a multitude of messages people are bombarded with daily. Furthermore, the “audience” has changed drastically. Today, the church faces the increasingly difficult task of communicating sacred meaning to a secular audience.
Here’s a check list of things to consider when it comes to evaluating what you’re communicating today as the church amid the rising tide of secularism:
1. Keep it simple. Simplify everything from the bulletin to the sermons. You will communicate better with secular people.
2. Translate please. Secular people don’t understand the theological jargon we use. You can simplify Biblical terms without sacrificing their integrity.
3. Timing is everything. Time is the new currency. Communication must be concise. If people lose focus because of time, they lose the message.
4. Take nothing for granted. The average churchgoer often takes for granted the things new people may not understand. The answer? Define what terms mean.
5. Define non- negotiables. Some language and practices simply can’t be changed. Define the non-negotiables and then clarify their meaning.
6. Educate, educate, educate! Secular people require instruction. If you don’t educate, you will not fully communicate.
7. Cut the “‘preacher talk”. If an everyday word can be used, use it!
8. Use secular terms. They can be a vehicle to convey a sacred meaning as long as they don’t threaten the Biblical or theological integrity of what you are trying to communicate.
9. Use a variety of communication forms. Lyle Shaller says, “Today we are dealing with the Sight, Sound and Sensation generation.” Diversify your forms of communicating the same sacred message.
10. Embody the Good News first. Christian communication has always been personalized before it is verbalized. If you want to share the message, live it first.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY D.L. WASHBURN.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.