Why Your Church Should Focus On Felt Needs – Ramsey+

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In today’s episode, join Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng to discuss why your church should be focusing on felt needs, your “why”, and meeting people where they are.
This episode is brought to you by Ramsey+, a money plan for real life. This brand-new, all-access membership from Dave Ramsey’s company gives you the best money content, tools, and resources all in one place. Visit https://daveramsey.com/cctrial to learn more and try it out for yourself!


Welcome to the church communications podcast. We want to help you become a church communications expert. We understand it can be a challenging and ever-changing role because we’ve worked in the church, too, which is why we built a community with over 25000 church leaders that are ready to support and cheer you on your host for the show. Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng, who want to help equip you to reach more of your congregation and community. This is the place where we’ll talk shop with fellow practitioners and professionals. Are you ready? Let’s get started.


[00:00:31.230] – Kenny Jahng

This episode is brought to you by Ramsey, plus a money plan from real life. This brand new all access membership from Dave Ramsey’s company gives you the best money, content, tools and resources all in one place. Later on, we’ll talk about how to give your whole church or organization to get plugged in. But until then, you can start a free trial over at Dave Ramsey Dotcom Fortgang trial. That’s right. Get a free, free trial to the Ramsey plus system at https://daveramsey.com/cctrial


[00:01:12.810] – Katie Allred

Hi, I’m Katie Alred, and I’m Kenny Jahng, and welcome to the communications podcast today, we’re really excited. We have such a great topic. So I don’t want to ruin it. I want I can tell you about it. So, Kenny, what are we talking about today?


[00:01:29.880] – Kenny Jahng

This is one of those things that I think, Katie, you and I are always consulting and coaching churches on this topic, but there aren’t I don’t think there are many resources that explicitly go into it. And not a lot. No, not a lot. And so I think I love the fact that we actually said, OK, let’s write down some questions, answers and go through this topic together so that we can share with everybody. And I guess the angle or the title of the show is why your church should be focusing on the felt needs of the community.


[00:01:59.760] – Kenny Jahng

It’s kind of a little bit of a is it a pet peeve? I don’t know whether it’s one of those particular things where I feel like people ignore this all the time or push back.


[00:02:09.660] – Katie Allred

But literally, it’s our only job. I think that’s the funny part. Right. Like the church was created to help people with their Fellaini. I mean, I don’t know, like what else is easiest to do? How else are you to lead people to Christ if they have needs? You know, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was very specific about how people can’t feel love. They cannot obtain self-awareness until their basic needs are met. And so as a church, we really need to be helping people with their basic needs.


[00:02:41.040] – Kenny Jahng

Yeah, so just that portion of it. Right. Like, so when you’re talking to a pastor or communicator, whether it be a volunteer staff person, sometimes they’ll just explicitly ask, right. Like, so why tell me technically why we should focus on the means? Why from a communications medium perspective, can you share and answer what’s a what’s one response to that technical question?


[00:03:09.690] – Katie Allred

I think, again, it goes back to that basic the basic needs. Right to Maslow’s hierarchy. But, you know, we probably shouldn’t assume interest. We should probably go back and forth versus should you instead meet people where they are, maybe demonstrate the relevance of your church community as a resource.


[00:03:30.690] – Katie Allred

So I guess the question is, what kind of felt needs should we focus on? Should we focus on? Where should we focus on dating? Should focus on marriage, marriage problems, relationship money. We’re going to talk about that a little bit less. So I guess my question is, how do you stand out?


[00:03:50.160] – Kenny Jahng

Yeah, I guess that’s the that’s the impulse everyone is trying to get to and the answers felt needs. But I think conceptually we need to reset the entire canvas for the Y. Right. So in terms of your brand and your positioning, again, like you said before, don’t assume interest used to be that churches are just assumed you go to church for a reason. We’re post Christian in many countries going the way I personally think you need to define your why, right.


[00:04:20.820] – Kenny Jahng

Like why should I come to you, your church like and this catchphrase I love to use with my teams is what’s the wisdom? You know, the wisdom. What’s in it for me? You have to answer the what’s in it for me question me for sure. Right. So I’d like to talk about that specific concept, because I feel like if we. Consistently, you can get the church team to think about the wisdom for their people, right?


[00:04:48.210] – Kenny Jahng

You know, the what is the answer? That and even both of us are storybrand certified. And maybe you can just share that philosophy of the paradigm shift in store brands of who’s the hero and stuff like that. I think that’s part of the paradigm shift we’re trying to share with people.


[00:05:03.810] – Katie Allred

Yeah. So, you know, for our churches especially, they think Jesus is a hero. And I mean, he is he is ultimately the hero. But really, Jesus is what we’re striving for in the story. The person you’re the hero, you yourself, the person is the hero and the church is really the guy that gets us to Jesus. And so how can we figure out a better way to position ourselves so that the community sees us as the guide to getting to Jesus and to living a more fulfilling life and also a place where our fellow needs can be met? Absolutely. So let’s talk about that.


[00:05:53.620] – Kenny Jahng

Typically, what we recommend when we’re doing our coaching with teams and stuff like that is that we’ve said, hey, look, let’s look at life transitions. Let’s look at those felt means. So can we let’s let’s circle back. So now that we’ve said the Y to the frame, let’s circle back to literally what our felt means, what are typical stubbornness of the church can consider the universe. And now there’s going to be different ones contextual in your community.


[00:06:17.410] – Kenny Jahng

Right. But in general, like go to the right answer most of the time where some people start. Yeah.


[00:06:25.540] – Katie Allred

I mean, relationship ones are easy felt needs. I think that can be answered, you know, singles, marriage, parenting, a huge felt need that happened during the coronaviruses prayer. If you had created content around prayer during the coronavirus, there was this huge uptick. If you go to trends, Google Trends, you can see that prayer was at one hundred percent searched for during the coronavirus. Yet there was no content coming from the local churches on how to pray.


[00:06:57.040] – Katie Allred

And it would have been the perfect time to have created this felt need content. So, you know, I think, you know, searching Google Trends is a good way to find out what the felt needs are in your community. But, you know, going on others, there’s also, you know, the…


[00:07:15.530] – Kenny Jahng

And I’m like, this is one of those things. I just have to stop it. How to what is Google Trends? Because I think this is like a secret weapon to a lot of people and everyone knows it sometimes.


[00:07:25.050] – Katie Allred

But there’s so much I do assume that everyone knows how to use Google Trends. So it’s trends.google.com. And it’s really a place where you can search for terms and see how much that term has been searched over a period of time.


[00:07:40.210] – Katie Allred

So you can search Taylor Swift and see how Taylor Swift’s popularity has gone up and down over the years. But you can also search for terms like the Bible. You can search for other felt needs like prayer or hunger, or where do I get food? Like where do I get free food? How do I get access to financial counseling?


[00:08:03.550] – Katie Allred

So, you know, there are certain terms you can Google and find if those terms are going up in your area. You know, like a lot of times, like, you know, people were asking unemployment. You know, you can see if unemployment skyrocketed in your area or not. And if it did, then clearly you need to create some content around the term unemployment. I know that’s a little it’s a little complicated to think what kind of content do I create around the term unemployment? Let’s talk about that.


[00:08:34.870] – Katie Allred

You know, so like, you can create YouTube content around it and have the phrase unemployment as the as the title. You can create a blog post around it and then talk about like what the church has resources for, for people who are unemployed. Do you have job counseling? Do you have other resources like food resources, help with mortgage payments, those kind of things, other kinds of counseling available.


[00:09:07.210] – Katie Allred

And so you have all these resources. Many churches have these resources they just don’t have in a place where people can find it easily for the terms that are being sought for that day. So you really need to think about what are people searching for on the Internet? How are they searching it? So interesting. Yesterday, I actually just taught in my digital marketing class and we were looking at Google and just searching terms and we were looking at Halo five versus the term by Halo five. OK, so Halo as a video game, right? If you search for Halo five, the first thing that comes up is Halo five, the video game, and the company that makes a video game, which makes perfect sense. But if you search for the term by Halo five, Amazon comes up first.


[00:09:55.030] – Katie Allred

And so, you know, the way people are phrasing things is also important in the search and how you create content for these felt needs. And so what’s great, too, is that Google really does prefer local over national brands. So if you are a trusted local authority on certain topics because you’ve been creating content over time, they’re going to prefer to show you than anyone else, show your church over another resource. So if your church had a whole series on prayer and you created some really great specific content on prayer, maybe you did a YouTube series or whatever and you created really great thumbnails.


[00:10:37.960] – Katie Allred

You created really great titles, you know, that walk people through how to pray for specific things or whatever that’s going to show up when somebody Googles. How do I pray? Or whatever, because a lot of times you just don’t know what they’re looking for. And so they’re looking for these things. And anyways, Google is going to prefer to send them to a local source than anywhere else.


[00:11:00.150] – Kenny Jahng

So that’s I think that’s one of those pointers that you can’t underscore enough, people need to rewind this a little bit and go through that whole thing that you just walked people through, because it is important that you need to be put in a content to position yourself as a resource for everybody. And it’s not just it’s not just one category. There’s so many different other things. Life stages is another. We talk about life stages. Katie, can you share a little bit about like what our life stages, what?


[00:11:31.470] – Kenny Jahng

I mean, I think people get writer’s block when we talk about these things because it’s not it’s not common. It’s not the typical way churches talk to external audiences. Yeah.


[00:11:43.200] – Katie Allred

So, like, going on your own is a is a life stage. Getting your first time job is a life stage. Figure out money you know, on your own, like personal finance is a life stage. Buying a home, you know, is a life stage retirement. So life stage and people are searching for this information online. And you may say, well, maybe my church shouldn’t be the authority on buying a home, but why should it be?


[00:12:08.260] – Katie Allred

I don’t know. I don’t see why you can’t create some content about that, at least to create enough to where people who are searching for it find you. Yeah. Yeah. Or you can bring in experts. And I think, you know, we have a couple we know. Have you. So Kenny, what else do you think.


[00:12:29.470] – Kenny Jahng

Yeah, it’s, it’s, I think you hit it on the head is that you don’t need to be you yourself doesn’t need to be the expert. You’ve got a community of people. And it’s also an excuse to reach out and build relationships with other local entities, influencers, experts, et cetera. And there’s again, I think there’s a little bit some maybe more traditional ministry fronts that people might say, OK, let’s start here with the baby steps where, you know, marriage relationships, marriage counseling is something that typically churches already have some content around that the pastor might be doing.


[00:13:04.500] – Kenny Jahng

But you could use that to actually broaden it, to invite the broader community, not just church members, not just couples that are getting engaged. Parenting is another one. Parent is a huge issue where from a biblical worldview lens helping, you know, helping parents really navigate what’s going on with social media and their kids, et cetera. Those values driven things are parents are really looking for help and acceptance now in this community, in this environment, homeschooling.


[00:13:33.510] – Kenny Jahng

I know some of the churches that because homeschooling is one of those things where I think the Christian community is a larger subsegments of homeschoolers. And I think there are people out there in the secular community that are now interested in homeschooling. My homeschooling is now a topic that people say as an alternative to just having to have our kids at home all day. It was in a zoo room locked in their room all day for school because schools are being postponed.


[00:14:04.290] – Kenny Jahng

That’s that’s something that you could bring into the fact or so. And you said personal finance is money. Money is the thing that is talked about most in the Bible by Jesus and people. It’s a stressor for people. It’s a huge thing. Right. So when you think personal finance, I would say, who do you think of in the church? It’s probably Dave Ramsey. Right. It’s sad for you that Financial Peace University came here. You’ve lost it.


[00:14:29.040] – Kenny Jahng

Yeah, I led one for our church. We, I think, crossed that whole debt. Fuster Million dollar milestone for the church and which is great. Like your church is doing tangible good. Changing lives impact the lives of your people. I led a class that had fifty four people in it and it was serious life change. And what’s great about it is we had maybe a third to a half or not were people that were not in our church.


[00:14:58.950] – Kenny Jahng

Yeah, she found out about it and it was meeting at the church. But these people discovered a reason why they should step into the church for the right time, build those relationships. And I’m sure actually you’ve got some recent experience with Financial Peace University recently, right?


[00:15:15.750] – Katie Allred

Yes. Back in March, when the pandemic started, my church decided to launch an online FPU class and we did it bizim and we met Bizim for once a week every week, and we went through the baby steps and had to get out of that.


[00:15:33.000] – Katie Allred

And then we also had a Facebook group where we celebrated things and we chatted and we had fun giveaways and contests and stuff. And so really, honestly using the online resources were incredible. You know that Dave Ramsey really released some really awesome stuff. And Ramsey plus that I think is going to be really cool. They’ve really moved a lot of stuff online. Of course, the books still available. And stuff, but, man, the online resources are really killing it.


[00:16:02.640] – Katie Allred

So we enjoyed it quite a bit as a as a group going through it.


[00:16:07.170] – Katie Allred

And again, like you said, is it easy? It’s such a not easy at all is the easy way, but it really is. It’s like a great way to get people in the community who have felt needs around debt and personal finance and figure out what do I do about retirement and getting them involved in a church setting. And so, yeah, they might be going to a physical church building this year. You know, let’s be honest about it.


[00:16:31.350] – Katie Allred

The church building may not be full this year with people coming into it, but they would probably be willing to join a Zoom call, you know, and talk about personal finance. And so using these resources, I think, will just make it so easy for people to come back into it.


[00:16:47.410] – Kenny Jahng

And just think about like we’re pulling all the parts of our conversations that you’re talking about google Trends. Right. Unemployment is a huge issue for the vast majority of the country. Record numbers are filing unemployment.


[00:17:01.500] – Kenny Jahng

Money is always a stressor and being able to do stuff online and then the intimidation factor to be able to go to resume room versus having to drive to a church building that you’ve never been to before. You’ve got all this baggage going to the church. This is the perfect storm in a good way to introduce your church to new people.


[00:17:20.940] – Kenny Jahng

So anyway, all that stuff is great. So once we have all these, like, life transitions, felt needs dialed in, like, let’s talk about how do we make it easier for people to come to the church for all that stuff? Like what is the tip of the spear tip of the sword recommendation that you have for online? And how do you get them to come to us?


[00:17:41.550] – Kenny Jahng

Yeah, you know, I think groups are the definitely the easiest way, you know, starting affinity groups around these kind of topics. So Fellaini topics in general know, of course, you can start a felt in these group about personal finance in your area. OK, like create. I live here in Mobile, Alabama. In Mobile, Alabama. Personal finance, personal finance and finance in general are are hot topics on the Internet.


[00:18:08.100] – Katie Allred

So I guarantee you’ll find some people who want to talk about this. There might be some crazy people out there, so be careful. But, you know, I think that, you know, they don’t have to be long term. You can make some long term groups. You can make some short term groups, but they’re really low risk. You know, it’s such a great opportunity for reaching lots of people, you know? And I think that it’s just such a I don’t know, they’re so much fun.


[00:18:34.590] – Katie Allred

Creating groups online, especially through Facebook, will create such an opportunity for you and for your church to really grow. So much of today is online, online first or whatever, so people can actually do their homework. You can give them homework for these groups. And I think it’s just going to be really incredible.


[00:18:56.460] – Kenny Jahng

And so I think you literally are meeting, hey, if you’re a church, you should be opening up some new Facebook groups like that. If you’re not joking, that literally is what you’re saying. Can you share with everybody just the difference between private groups, public groups, secret groups? And like in this type of if you’re going to have a small group that meets and say we’re using the Dave Ramsey Ramsey plus system for FPU, what type of group would you have?


[00:19:27.510] – Kenny Jahng

How big of a typical group? Can you just let’s walk through that, because I think that would be helpful for a lot of people.


[00:19:32.820] – Katie Allred

Yeah, there’s I mean, there’s multiple ways you can do this. There’s so there’s public and private groups and then there is setting for visible and hidden. There’s no secret group. So that’s gone away.


[00:19:46.860] – Katie Allred

So I would create a private group no matter what, even if you were trying to reach multiple people. So maybe you want a long term strategy of creating a group about personal finance for your area and you’re planning on going into personal finance for a long time, like you want to make this a ministry that reaches a lot of people in your area, then I would create a private group that’s visible so people can find it and then tag it with your location, that kind of thing.


[00:20:16.650] – Katie Allred

If you’re creating short term groups that are really specific for your church, again, I still do private invisible. I don’t think there’s any reason that it can’t be found on Facebook. I think that’s fine. But then, of course, you can archive groups once they’re done. So I’d maybe like name it with like Dave Ramsey class July twenty twenty or something. So you know what, how to organize them in your head. But yeah.


[00:20:42.720] – Kenny Jahng

So I love it. And again, that’s a free tool. Right. You don’t need extra budget to open up a group. Yeah. The Ramsey plus solution thing is basically the same thing is what the church has been doing for decades on a few sites, so. Not an extra cost. In fact, you actually get some other curriculum and courses and resources and all the curriculum and videos and everything’s on there. I was really impressed by it.


[00:21:10.990] – Katie Allred

And it makes it so easy to go through it individually and as a group. And so, you know, you would assign homework as a group, but it’s so easy to go in there and just figure out where you’re at. But what what’s next?


[00:21:22.510] – Kenny Jahng

Absolutely. Well, one of the things we just wanted to call your attention to our podcast season here is sponsored by the folks over at Ramsey Plus. And they’ve actually arranged, as we had at the very top of the show, a free trial for our listeners here. So if you were listening here, we’ve arranged with the Ramsey plus team. They’re amazing. A free trial specifically for you guys. Kate, if you could just tell everybody as we close out the show how to get that, what’s the Eurail for that?


[00:21:55.780] – Kenny Jahng

So they can jot down or type it into a second screen and actually light up an account, just just take a look at what’s inside so that you can get a sense of, hey, can we use this for church? And I think the best thing is I would just try to start a group and see what see what happens, right?


[00:22:11.200] – Katie Allred

Yeah, for sure. So it’s daveramsey.com/cctrial again it’s daveramsey.com/cctrial


[00:22:21.130] – Kenny Jahng

So double “c” trial as in church communications is a church trial. So they set up a landing page just for us and our audience, just like you here today. And we’d love to hear your feedback hit us up after you check out what’s inside and let us know what you think and, you know, enjoy what we’ve been able to work out with the Ramsey plus team. So, Katie, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on the groups.


[00:22:47.680] – Kenny Jahng

And thanks for being here, too. Next episode, we’re going to tackle a couple of different things going forward. And I’m pretty excited of the types of topics that we’re going to actually tackle. We’re going to tackle things like how to keep your small groups connected beyond the first meeting like this. Very practical, how to kick off your small groups with video based courses. We’re going to talk about like how to, you know, why your church should be focusing on or thinking like a content producer.


[00:23:20.350] – Kenny Jahng

And then we’ve got an interview coming. I think you’ve got an interview scheduled with somebody from the the Ramsey organization. Right.



I think that’s going to be a good talk. Yeah. About branding. About branding. Oh, that’s a world class organization. I’m going to be looking forward to that sit down interview that you have with the senior creative. So, OK, so that that’s a wrap up for today. Katie, anything else? As we say, so long farewell to our friends here on the podcast and I don’t have anything else. Thanks for joining us.



Thanks for listening to the church communications podcast with Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng, if you liked our show today and want to learn more, you can join our Facebook group with over 25000 church leaders, simply search for church communications on Facebook. And if you liked today’s episode, please consider subscribing and leaving us a review. It’s the most impactful way you can help us reach more church leaders and equip them to become better communicators for the church. And finally, don’t forget to check out our website at Church Communications Dotcom. Thanks for listening.


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