Sarah of Inkblots of Hope offers great advice about finding your ministry niche. Welcome, Sarah, and thank you for sharing this post and for the free resource at the end of this post.
I wish I could tell you that God dropped my ministry niche from heaven in a ceremonious fashion. You know, like a burning bush sign or even an audible call from His lips to my ear like He did with the prophets of old.
But instead, I found my ministry niche in bed. Yup, I said in bed.
This was four years ago when I had no other choice but to quit my job because of my failing health. At the time, I had several people encouraging me to blog about my health.
Exhaustion overcame me. And at times it was difficult to string a couple of sentences together, so I didn’t know how I was going to manage a blog. But I found the blogs of others exploring the vulnerable pieces of their life with illness, and I found I loved feeling connected to voices who understood. Yet, I found a lack of faith-based sites about health issues.
Starting and Failing with My Ministry Niche
While I started the prepping process for my blog by writing out articles, I did something no one should do. I ditched the main mission that everyone was encouraging me towards, and instead, I haphazardly wrote on every topic I knew something about, and thought this was going to be what made my blog great. After all, I’d be covering just about every topic from illness, to finding an alternative for peanut butter, to succeeding in college. This would appeal to everyone, I thought to myself, meaning everyone would be my audience.
I’m sure you can see the fault of my logic. If you widen your audience too much, you lose everyone instead of gaining everyone. I would love to blame this faulty logic on my sick brain. But I think it was just me not fully comprehending the big picture mission that every blog that’s faith-based needs a ministry niche.
I had an internal critic warning me that if I talked about illness too much, I was setting myself up for the chance to never experience healing. If I blogged to a faith-based audience about illness regularly, I felt like I was telling God that my illness is my identity and that I never want to get well. But after wrestling with God in prayer on this topic, I realized something. If I am completely healed, that can be a ministry in and of itself and I can still talk about helping others through their illness because it’s still a pain I’ve endured.
Recognizing a Future and the Bigger Picture with My Ministry Niche
And there’s something else I should mention about my ministry niche that might help you. I realized my ministry niche was something I already wanted for my future. You see, my husband and I have a vision implanted on our hearts to create a church plant that caters to the unique needs of the sick. Helping the sick when I’m hopefully more functional in the future is something I already desire, so why wouldn’t I blog about it in my present?
I also want to mention that even though I blog about faith through chronic illness, I do also have blog categories about marriage and general topics on faith. Why? Because my target audience is females from 20-35 with a chronic illness and/or who have endured profound struggles, but also who happen to be married and desire to grow in their faith. So I do at times have readers who do not fit this target audience, but they’re not the ones I usually hear from in my inbox who have told me they’ve read every article I’ve written because my content resonated with them so deeply.
Now for the Best Part: It’s Your Turn to Hone Your Ministry Niche
Now it’s your turn. Remember, even if you fail at first in honing your niche, at least you’re trying. I write about this more here: http://inkblotsofhope.com/hope-filled-tips-christian-bloggers/. Even though bloggers are not my main audience, I have this article on my blog in an inconspicuous spot to share with blogging/writer friends (like you!) who need some encouragement.
Now back to you. I’m leaving you with questions to help you brainstorm your way to considering the vision God has for your ministry niche.
If you’re stuck trying to find your own ministry niche, ask yourself, who comes to you for advice, and what are they asking you? What would you love to speak about if you had a mic and a stage for the night? What type of people would be in the audience, hanging on your every word?
If you want more brainstorming ideas, click here for a free PDF download with more questions to help you hone your ministry niche.
I will keep you in my prayers, friend, as you pursue God in finding your ministry niche. If you have any feedback or questions, I’d love to hear from you.
~Sarah at inkblotsofhope.com.
Sarah Anne enjoys spending quiet moments with her hubby, Michael, outdoors watching birds. (Yes, she’s fully aware that makes her sound seventy-five and she’s okay with that.) She also enjoys coconut ice cream, drinking too much tea, and re-watching old favorite movies like Little Women. Sarah is trying to keep hope alive in the Author of life in spite of her life’s interruptions. She blogs regularly at Inkblots of Hope.