I saw on a job site recently where Cracker Barrel corporate was looking for a Communications Specialist. This was shortly before they really needed one. Badly. After the duck feathers flew, I imagined if I had been the one sitting in that Communications Specialist seat when my boss came in to announce they were going to stop carrying Duck Dynasty merchandise. My reply would have been simple; "Are you crazy? Don't you know your own audience?" I probably would have been fired or demoted at that point. But I would have been right. And it would have saved Cracker Barrel from eating a lot of raw, uncooked crow. Whatever powers that be at Cracker Barrel had better run down to the Clue Shop and make a purchase. Having eaten at Cracker Barrel myself more times than I can count, a simple look around the room tells me who their audience is. So if I, as a lowly consumer, can figure that out, how could they have missed something as vital as that?
Every artist, every author, every person who is offering a product to the marketplace needs to answer one question before they ever begin to form a public persona: Who is my audience? Once that question is answered, you can begin to hone in on a message that will appeal to that particular targeted consumer base. So many times I have been in meetings with people who say something like "I want my audience to be the whole world." I've been known at that juncture to draw a large circle on a piece of paper, point to it and say, "That is quite a large market. Are you sure you have the budget for this?" Sometimes that directs them back to reality. Sometimes it doesn't.
The reality, according to the Apostle Paul in 1st Corinthians 12, is that we are not all called for the same purpose. We have unique gifts and talents that place us precisely where God wants us in the grand scheme of things. We must surrender ourselves to the fact that we cannot individually become the body of Christ. We can and must, however, be the necessary left eye or the right leg or the big toe that makes up the body. Then, we can make a difference to the audience that we have been assigned to reach.
By understanding who we are speaking to -- with our books, music, films, etc. -- we become that necessary link that makes the entire body work correctly. And time has shown that when that happens, Christ is indeed glorified to the whole world. So draw a big circle on that piece of paper and then locate your teeny, tiny dot. That's where you begin.
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