By Kathy Widenhouse, award-winning nonprofit content writer, website publisher, and author of 9 books.
An online devotional for writers
Paul, standing before the council,[ addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way.” (Acts 17:22, NLT)
Have you defined the audience you write for?
A successful blog provides helpful, valuable information for a specific group of readers. To determine the audience you write for, ask yourself this question: what distinguishes your readers from others?
Maybe you write a mom blog.
But “moms” is a broad audience. Perhaps you focus on moms of preschoolers. Or moms of autistic teenagers. Or moms of adult alcoholics.
The more specific you can be, the better.
During his missionary journeys, the Apostle Paul targeted a specific audience with whom to share the good news about Jesus: the Jewish people. When he arrived in a village, he immediately sought out the synagogue. There, his position as a learned rabbi gave him the pulpit and he explained to listeners that the Messiah had come.
But Paul’s visit to Athens, a city full of idols, was a bit different. After he went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews, Paul also spoke with God-fearing Gentiles. Then, each day he stopped in the public square to talk with the general public. He encountered foreigners, Epicureans (those who sought to enjoy pleasure and avoid pain) and Stoics (who relied on self-sufficiency and virtue) – even members of the Athenian council.
What was the common thread among this mishmash?
Paul recognized that his Athenian audience’s distinguishing trait was not a specific belief system. Rather, the Athenians shared this collective distinctive: they were religious. They reverenced divine power.
That common thread allowed Paul to define his audience. Some wanted to hear more. And some became believers (Acts 17:32-34).
Define your audience.
Your message is for everyone. Yet you desire for me to speak to a specific group of people. Give me wisdom to define my readers so I can speak to them directly in ways they can understand and receive.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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