A key leadership aspect that can greatly impact a ministry is finding a niche – a discovered thought area where you can flourish and become an expert. This focus is more effective than it is to know “a little something” about everything. People pursue experts.
Every church leader and local church needs a niche, and that niche needs to lead to Jesus.
OK, but what is a niche?
Simply put, it’s a narrowed area of expertise within the broader spectrum of your role as a pastor. If this area is needed by your community and your congregation, a niche becomes an excellent opening for an engagement that can lead to a Gospel conversation.
A niche becomes a thread that you become known for. It describes the content umbrella for everything you do! It should be a unique space where your passions, skills, and interests intersect with the needs and preferences of your audience. A niche represents a specialized area of ministry where you can make a distinctive and meaningful impact as you become known for it. And it creates a comfort area for your audience.
5 reasons why you need a niche
- It calms messaging. In our very noisy world, you need one consistent niche solution or benefit that you repeat over and over. A niche allows you to communicate in unison. And to rise above the noise.
- It focuses you. You don’t have to know everything. What a relief! Instead, understand your niche. What others are saying about it. Who needs it. And why it will allow you to connect your audience to the Gospel.
- It makes you stand out. Stating pain points with solutions, within a niche, will get people (who need it) to look up and lean in. The perfect place for ministry!
- It attracts a persona. A group of people interested in your area of expertise. They will pursue you.
- It gives clarity. A niche quickly states what you and your church are about. And in that clarity, your audience decides if they want to listen or want to ignore. But they’ll make a decision!
4 steps on finding your niche
- Self-reflection of how God uniquely created you and what interests, strengths, and experiences you have.
- Identify who your audience persona is, and what their needs, concerns, and goals are.
- Research, learn, and focus on how you can be a solution to your personas’ needs. Or a path to their goals. Then create a very short way of saying it (3-5 words is perfect). Use it as a tagline.
- Seek guidance. There are branding consultants (like me) who give invaluable outside expertise, research data, and advice. Discovering a church’s thread is my niche! Now, discover yours!
Mark MacDonald is communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com, and Executive Director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites, & social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.