Three Minutes To Get Their Attention

DirectMailMail targeted to pastors is among the most interesting advertisements I get. Likely because I’m a pastor. It is interesting how direct marketing really is direct. I just received an advertisement claiming that “70% of people give a preacher 3 minutes or less to get their attention.”

Wow, that’s a lot of pressure.

It’s possible that’s true. I don’t find any science data to back up this claim, but if it’s true, what should I do? Show a clip from a popular movie? Tell a story? Give every one in the audience a $5.oo bill? Or maybe as Martin Luther was once pressured to tap a good barrel of beer so people would come with all their hearts and hear?

I suppose every public speaker should give careful consideration to how they speak. I want to be a clear communicator and help the listener hear and engage with God. But not as a circus leader.

On to the better news of this direct mail… If it only takes three minutes to get their attention, it won’t matter if I preach for 45 – 50 minutes this coming Sunday.

I like Luther’s reaction to people pressuring him to give them what they want… “The gospel is like unto the rain which, falling upon a river, produces little effect; but descending upon a dry, thirsty soil, renders it fertile.”


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