The real choice isn’t between preaching to your choir or preaching to the choir that is competing with you. That’s one minority group, coalition or movement preaching past another minority group, coalition or movement. Your messages are pretty well scripted and rehearsed. And you are too busy preaching to listen to what the other preacher is saying.
The real choice is between preaching to your choir or reaching out to the folks who aren’t in any choir.
That’s where the majority of folks reside.
How big a majority?
Estimates vary but somewhere between 70 and 85% of people are not engaged in your issue. You are excluding them when you only preach to your choir.
This majority of people have views and values that you assume but don’t really know.
Who want to be given credit for making up their own mind.
Who care more than you think, maybe as much as you do. Or even more.
Who are turned off by the preaching coming from the minorities on all sides of an issue.
That’s why many of us describe them as the caring majority.
If you want to reach out to the caring majority:
- Listen: be curious about what makes their hearts sing.
- Stop conducting: While nearly everyone likes to sing. Very few want to join a choir.
- Expand your musical styles: Most people have broader musical tastes than choral singing.
Ours is an ironic age, and when you’re being ironic, the last thing you want is to give people the impression you care. I do care, however; I care passionately about what is happening to the earth, to wilderness, to natural beauty. And I intend to go down singing. (Jan Zwicky)
Musical accompaniment for this post is All At Once by the mysterious R&B soul singer Allan Rayman. Support his music here. Isn’t he amazing?
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