When I launched my coaching practice twelve plus year ago, I was involved in some pretty intense certification processes and learning opportunities. It was suggested over and over again to choose a particular coaching niche to focus my attention. Being one who doesn’t want to limit opportunity, I do have to admit that at first, I was resistant to the idea. Why would I want to limit my client pool? But eventually I began to understand. I discovered it is about focus, messaging, resource preservation, and quality.
As my coaching niche became the church and its leaders, I began to share this same niche philosophy with churches. And naturally, leaders were often reluctant to the concept. So, let’s explore the benefits of niches when it comes to the church and why you may want to consider a niche.
First let’s define a niche. A niche as defined by the Google dictionary is “denoting products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.” A niche in the church, therefore, is a targeted ministry that appeals to a particular demographic represented in your mission field. Simply put, there is no way to be all things to all people. So focus on a few that you are able to connect with deeply and impact significantly.
By understanding who is in our mission field, choosing one particular mosaic segment, discovering what their needs are, and what the gifts of the congregation are, the church is able to focus on one particular group with targeted communication and combined energy and resources. You are able to speak more directly to the particular targeted mission field which not only amplifies your message, but also keeps you more contextual and relevant.
The same is true when you have one signature ministry. Instead of having a whole directory of ministry options, we find that churches that have one significant signature ministry that has a big impact on their community is light year’s ahead of those that have a boat load of ministries. Why is this the case? It again boils down to a focused approach for communication, resources, and energy. When we spread ourselves too thin in too many areas, the impact, quality, and depth are sure to suffer.
Here is the bottom line: Choose a targeted demographic in your mission field and offer a signature ministry that you can present with excellence. Go deep – not wide!
I love this about going deep and having a signature ministry. Some questions we need to ask…If you disappeared, what would the community miss?
Does your ministry overlap another’s?
Is this ministry to keep up with the other’s?
Who are we missing? Not serving?
Are we asking what they need?want?
Are we doing this because we have always done this?
If we start this ministry, what are the goals and expectations? Are they realistic?
Is this ministry creating relationships or just making us feel better?
Are you willing to admit “failure” and start over?
Are you willing to visit change even in “success”?
Sometimes going deeper requires elbow grease and concentration. But the breakthroughs are amazing! And sometimes it requires to stop competing find another place untouched. And sometimes you need redirection. Through it all, concentration is better than trying to do everything with a little or no focus.
Love your questions for consideration, Kelly!