The 20-Second Test
If every employee and volunteer involved in your ministry could tell a total stranger what your ministry is “all about” in 20 seconds — or make it easy-to-read and understand in a simple Facebook or Twitter post — you would have a unified corps of workers focusing on a single long-term goal.
Of course, it’s not that simple. Those are among the most difficult 20 seconds you’ll ever engineer.
As we’ve helped hundreds of ministries over the past few decades, we have often found the process of determining “message” — to be honest — quite challenging.
Where we’ve challenged a ministry staff to develop a firm message, members of the ministry’s leadership team often find that they suddenly turn into the Continental Congress of 1776 — differing over concepts and wordings and meanings that they never before realized they differed on, and unable to agree on a unified declaration.
- In a surprising number of cases, the ministry “principal” — the most public personality leading the ministry — actually has a different take on expressing the organization’s mission than the staff does!
It’s a disorienting discovery … but it’s enormously important to go through. The ministry can become dramatically healthier when such dissonance is revealed and dealt with.
Yet even after you’ve got your entire ministry team on the same page — even after your mission is crystal clear — there still usually remains one major problem:
The message may actually make no sense to your target audience!