Why does your organization exist? What is it hoping to do for the community or audience that you have or hope to gain? What is its purpose?
In so defining these question and using the content in this chapter, we look to be able to find a conflict that may be happening within the customer’s life that allows us to align with them.
So that we can be a guide for them. It gives them the title of hero and we can help them achieve that goal they may be seeking.
My Own Opinion
I’m going to be upfront about this chapter. The whole premise of this chapter is that one of the best ways to align with your audience is to have a mutual enemy, they call the villain, and how to become the guide to the hero who is your customer.
In couples counseling, professional leadership, and many other relational models, conflict resolution is seen as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Yes, we need to deal with the symptoms at hand, but the bigger issue is why we even have this problem in the first place.
We call it triangulating with people where you create this real or fake enemy so that you and your spouse, coworker, or another person you want to establish a stronger bond with can come closer. But in many ways, it’s artificial and short-lived. Longer termed goals are to align through positive attributes, shared hopes and dreams, and honestly, a lot of hard work with compassion, empathy, and grace. Of course, that takes too long and does not guarantee results if the other party isn’t on board.
I can’t help feeling after this chapter both “this is a great way to find an ally” and at the same time “are we just tricking people into buying our stuff?”
We Don’t Make Stuff Up
The book is very clear to not create a conflict where there is none. If people do not need help with managing their church’s budget, do not attempt to create drama among the Church just to get your stuff sold.
Don’t think this happens? You should see some of the horror stories in different Facebook groups about RightNow Media. They may have changed since these postings, but it’s left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
- If you leave their service, they will keep you on a mailing list.
- If someone tries to log-in (because not everyone gets the memo you have ended the service), they give the name of the person who signed up for the service to that person and tells them you have chosen to end the service.
- They email ALL people who you have entered as email addresses petitioning them to reach out to the account manager to sign back up for services.
This Is The Church’s Story
To be honest, this is the story of the Church. For centuries, the Church’s enemy has been Satan. American churches have maybe blurred the lines here to more point to pain, isolation, or poverty, though I believe the Bible still points to sin, the fall, and the one who orchestrated it. (But that’s for another theology article somewhere else)
In so aligning with the people, you now have a service you can provide to them, a way to connect, and a shared meaning together.
What About ChurchMag?
One of the biggest things the book promotes in this chapter is to not have more than one enemy to fight against. I think ChurchMag is currently struggling a bit with this.
We want to see churches do church tech so much better. We also want to see Church Tech have a community they can go to. I realize I have personally also been pushing for ChurchMag to be the authority in Christian nerdiness. Finally, at the heart of the ChurchMag senior staff writers, we have this passion to see bad church tech products and services called out for what they are, worthless and a poor stewardship option for churches. That’s four enemies right there.
The book would ask that we refine our vision within the vision and mission of our site. I love our tagline now: “We are church tech.” But does it fully hit why we exist? Is it only about the community? And does that reflect the nerdiness, terrible products out there, or excellence we want church tech ministries to uphold? I’m not sure.
We are working on it, but I think this is one area ChurchMag could grow in.
How do you see ChurchMag existing to help you the reader?