I attended an event several years ago expecting an excellent, fresh message, but I was disappointed when I walked away. During the message, I was bored and uninspired. After the message, I was unchanged.
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it? But it’s the truth.
I don’t want my audiences to walk away with that kind of negative assessment of my messages, so I started to analyze my thoughts and feelings. What was missing? What made me so disinterested? When I boiled it down, there were two elements that were absent.
- Fresh content– The speaker didn’t say anything I hadn’t already heard a thousand times.
- Needed content– He didn’t offer anything that I felt I needed.
It’s important for speakers to address the needs of their audience. When we address a pain point of our audience, we tap into a felt need.
What Is Felt Need?
Lysa TerKeurst is gifted in finding the felt need of her audience and offering solutions in a way that draw in her listeners and readers. When she released Made to Crave, I worked for Lysa for a short time, completing daily marketing tasks. In our first meeting, she told me that Made to Crave was her favorite book she had ever written. I nodded and smiled, but inside I was skeptical and thought, Really? You’ve written books about all kinds of important topics– obedience, faith, and marriage. A book about weight loss is your favorite?
But when I read Made to Crave, I understood. Although it was a book about weight loss, the deeper message was about crushing idols in our lives. Lysa knew that crushing idols wasn’t a topic that women thought about daily or even felt they needed (even though we all do need that topic!). She knew that in her own life, as in the life of almost every other woman in America, the idols she wrestled with daily were food and the scale. So she wrote a book about a felt need– over weight– that met a deeper need– replacing idolatry with devotion to God.
How Do I Find Felt Need?
Here are some questions to ask when you’re considering felt need:
- What do my audience members feel they need?
- What is causing pain in their every day life?
- What is my audience talking about when they gather with friends?
- What are areas that my audience feels adrift or lost?
God offers a solution to every felt need of humankind in Scripture, so all the solutions can be found there. When we examine a felt need and offer the solution found in Scripture, we can write fresh messages that offer a unique perspective along with solutions for a pain point.
Using the tips from this post and the previous blog posts in this series (see links below) will help you refresh tried and true but tired messages:
- Update the stories (Part 1)
- Work on the flow (Part 1)
- Ask God to reteach you (Part 2)
- Identify felt needs in your audience and connect one to your message.
The timeless truths burning in our hearts don’t change, but our messages need to change over time, keeping our flame burning to deliver God’s Truth to our audiences.
Do you need a fresh set of eyes for your message or marketing? Amy loves coaching because it gives her one-on-one time with you. Here’s what one of her recent client’s had to say about Amy’s coaching:
“Working with Amy was one of the best coaching experiences I’ve ever had — period. As a communications marketing professional I was struggling to write content for my own website. Amy’s approach was perfect. Each week we focused on one key thing and before I knew it I was writing meaningful content that expressed my heart’s desire for ministry. Amy is easy to work with, has a wonderful, warm personality and knows her stuff. I’ll definitely work with Amy again.” ~Alicia Terry