5 Critical Paradigms if a Church Wants Their Community to Listen

The Bible clearly says “go and tell”. But what if the community isn’t listening?

Mark MacDonald  ·  September 12, 2017

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The Bible clearly says “go and tell”. But what if the community isn’t listening? I often hear Pastors say “we can’t make the community listen, it’s only up to us to tell”. Can you imagine if we took that approach with our kids? We’d be talking a lot without them paying attention (and our kids would be awful)!

Let’s do what it takes for people all around us to listen. We need to formulate our messages so they’ll be received and processed. Sadly, the world has ignored the Church because our messages seem irrelevant to them.

Here are 5 sweeping communication paradigms that must be tackled now:

1. No one will listen unless you love first.

No wonder why Jesus said “they” will know we’re christians by our love. We often struggle loving each other, let alone our communities. Remember that people received love differently (thanks Dr. Gary Chapman for your 5 Love Language book!)

2. Few understand what the purpose of a church is.

About a third of our communities don’t have any concept of what we actually do. And strangely, as I talk to congregations, I’m not sure it’s clear to most Christians why we “do” church. Establish it in your congregation’s hearts so that we can extend our purpose outside of our doors. Make it simple (not these long purpose statements)!

3. Don’t assume they hear your message.

Many churches think they’re communicating enough. Are you posting to social media?

Billboards? Ads? Don’t assume that the unchurched are paying attention. Most people are only half-listening and usually only to those things that interest them. Work on your headlines and stop saying so much — we have to stop creating marketing clutter!

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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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