3 Ways to Better Engage An Audience

Church needs to be a great conversation. Every time someone attends a service, reads a tweet, browses your website, or looks at your bulletin.

Mark MacDonald  ·  December 20, 2016

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We recently had a party for our large Bible study group. Several dozen were present and there were games, food, and fellowship. I’m a people-watcher, so I love seeing how people interact with conversation. Some are awkward, some only talk about themselves, some fully engage and the conversation could last for hours.

Too many churches simply talk about themselves. But, what church needs is to be a great conversation. Every time someone attends a service, reads a tweet, browses your website, or looks at your bulletin.

If we don’t engage with people properly, the conversation ends, and the relationship is in jeopardy.

1.) Here’s 3 ways to engage better with your congregation and community:

Identify who they are.

If you had to stereotype your group, how would you do it?

When someone arrives for the first time, they’re bound to sum up your congregation in a short sentence. “They seemed to be a mainly white group of older people dressed in suits”. From that summary (whether accurate or perceived), they decide if they fit or not. Instead of naming only one large stereotypical group (persona), think more about 2 or 3 personas that you’ve been successfully attracting and are prominent in your community (so you can grow your congregation with those personas).

2.) Think like them and anticipate their needs and goals.

Research your persona groups and get to know them intently.

They may be totally different from you, but as a ministry leader or communicator, you must start to think like them if you want them to eventually think like you. This synergy comes when you anticipate their needs and help them accomplish their goals. This should be the goal of every interaction with your audience.

That’s the conversation that’s required for engagement! If you talk only about things that interest you, your congregation will become spectators who require entertainment to keep them interested. If you care for them, they’ll listen to you and engage with the message.

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Mark MacDonald
Is a Bible Teacher, speaker, best-selling author of Be Known For Something, and communication strategist for and the 3000+ churches of the Florida Baptist Convention. He empowers churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, and social media. His book is available at and
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