>> Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Writers and marketers have many things in common. Both are intent on communicating to their audience. Both need to work on things like platforms and networking. Both are involved in research. And writers and marketers alike know that packaging is essential to hooking your fans (readers or buyers, as the case may be).
But how does this relate to the message of the Gospel? Do we need to (and can we, even?) repackage the Truth to suit our intended audience? To win them over or draw them in?
There are many avenues we could take with this question. And let's start by not putting God in a box.
His Truth (that Jesus was God, born a man, died a sinner's death for you and rose again, hallelujah) can be communicated in any language, as well as a variety of mediums and tones. Its core is unchangeable.
So as long as that core is present and placed in the proper position (as the jist, point or centrepiece of the message) we should be alright, right?
When we explain the Gospel message to our kids, when we help them grapple with Christian doctrine, commands and standards - like baptism or the Trinity, for instance - it is necessary to speak their language. I'm not a fan of making up "kiddie phrases" that dumb down who Jesus is and what He means to us, but I'm all for using situations and perspectives that kids understand to help them grasp the Truth.
Yvonne Beverly Blake taught me an important lesson at a recent writer's conference. She said that we have a responsibility as writers to nurture and teach our readers, not to hinder them or turn them off of the path.
But does packaging the Gospel in a unique or even unfamiliar way necessarily hinder (assuming the Truth is front and centre)?
I'm trying to capture the tail of this idea, to hammer it into my brain as I work on a YA Christian novel. Teens need to hear the Gospel in terms, words and stories that they will relate to. And that sounds significantly different than how middle aged women will need to hear it. Or middle graders. Or empty nesters.
Do you know your audience? And are you packaging the Message in a way that will hook them?
What say the readers?
In a Pondering Mood,
thanks for the pic! sxc/michaelaw