If You Are Investing In Church Marketing, Stop Now.

Kenny Jahng —  2009/04/18 — 4 Comments

godvertiser-quote

The essence of the Gospel & Great Commission is not to be a church marketer, but rather a call to become a Godvertiser!  The end goal is not church, it is God!

The above line was my recent response to two different people.

One said they are not into church marketing because they don’t believe in advertising, gimmicks, and using marketplace tactics to draw attention to their church.

Another talked about how their aim was to increase their church marketing activities so that if they were successfull, *everyone* in their town would know exactly where their church was located, who was the lead pastor and what types of programs they offered to the community.

I personally believe churches need to look at and increase competency in church marketing tactics.  This includes knowing how and when to use them effectively.   I also believe that the intention and mission of a church will determine how you view and use “church marketing” to further ministry goals, not just attract people like you would to a grand opening or a super-duper clearance sale.

In a way, Godvertising is taking church marketing and using it to produce a specific idea virus – one about supernatural healing and shines a light on the ultimate healer.

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4 responses to If You Are Investing In Church Marketing, Stop Now.

  1. Kenny you are on the money! Church marketing is very important for churches to understand. However, church marketing is not about the church. The whole marketing initiative is about Jesus. Get people who desperately need to connect with God to your church so you can help them develop a personal relationship with Jesus. And then…disciple them so they can grow in that relationship and then reach people in their sphere of influence. You and I are on the same page!

  2. @David – Thanks for the comments.

    I just read at the PC(USA) denominational site that the median size of the typical PC(USA) church in the United States is 67. 1/2 of their churches have 100 or less members and only 51% of recorded members attend any given week. And the numbers aren't getting better. There's been a 15%+ loss of members over the last decade across the entire denomination.

    I'm not picking on PC(USA) – most North American denominations sit in the same boat.

    My point to "the Church" which really means any person active in ministry!…instead of criticizing "church marketing" – why not figure out how your own ministry can borrow from some of the best practices out there for marketing communications? While some churches may embrace billboards, splashy TV ads or direct mail, there's tons of other useful tactics that I can guarantee would both help you achieve success in your work and vocation while not "compromising" anything that you feel you stand for.

    Church marketing is a very generic and broad term. And I'm almost certain that your ministry can benefit from *some* form of church marketing!

    For example, one church I visited had a board in the foyer with nice name tags for EVERY MEMBER of the church. People just rolled in on Sunday mornings, took their permanent engraved name tag from the board, put it on, greeted the ushers, got the bulletin and continued into the sanctuary. Of course most people knew each other in the church, they didn't need the name tags.

    But you know who benefited from this now-part-of-the-entrance-routine name tag culture? The handful of visitors that came on any given Sunday! This is a sign of an outward facing church! This is church marketing.

    If you aren't putting your thinking caps on right now to figure out how church marketing can help your own church build His kingdom, what are you waiting for?!

  3. Hi Kenny,
    Interesting blog, I'm sure I will be reading from you more! I'd like to suggest a new book that just came out, titled "The Divine Commodity" by Skye Jethani. It was just released a couple of months ago and it is amazing, very much related to what you are writing about. I highly recommend it to everyone involved in church marketing. Look it up!

  4. @Garret, if you'd be interested in guest blogging a book review or summary, just let me know. The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity sounds interesting indeed!

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