I just finished reading The Ten Most Influential Churches of the Past Century: And How They Impact You Today by Elmer Towns. In one particular story, he talked about a church leader in South America who was committed to helping each church in each community reach out to those around them. Big crusades were important, denominational ministry had it’s place, but the best method of evangelism was for each congregation to drive down deep into their communities and regions! Your community must know you exist!
Your community must know you exist!
He called on each Christian Community to hold an annual parade inviting people to VBS, to host Christian Movie nights in local establishments and host concerts in parks using local worship teams and other local Christian Artists. They also planned to personally invite every home in their community to church.
This focus is important for any church.
Here’s a definition of marketing: “the activities that are involved in making people aware of an organizations products and services, letting them know they are available to them.”
The church needs to offer Jesus to the community.
Others may say that Jesus doesn’t needed marketing. That is true. The spirit of God is at work in each our lives, all of us together being the church. But why not share what God has done in our lives with others? And why not allow the church to shine because of who Jesus is?
Isn’t the church called to witness, not market? In some ways, you could interchange these two, for the sake of community. Isn’t setting up a table or booth about your church during a parade or city wide event a form of witness? And it’s also informing people about what your church does – marketing.
The church offers so much to help make the community stronger. Without the church, most communities would have to scramble to make things work correctly. Each church should become known in their communities.
Even with the pitfalls of relying on marketing too much, or creating such slick marketing that your church can’t live up to it, I believe there is a dire need for churches to let the community know they are there and they have life!
Here are some reasons for marketing your church.
Marketing helps those around you know the church is there.
Marketing has been around since Andrew found his brother and invited him to meet Jesus. And since Jesus told the man he healed to stay back and tell friends and family. There is a need for Christians to stay and tell their communities about Jesus.
Marketing paves the way for the good news.
Our main message is the Gospel of Jesus – salvation through him alone. Whether our vehicle for this is a kids outreach, a thrift shop or a special musical event, we use whatever means available at the time, in the culture, to let others know about the church and about the message.
Marketing involves vision, connections and energy.
Every church has people and when it comes to marketing, it’s an invitation for them to serve. Every marketing effort requires some energy and connections. If you’re going to invite the neighborhood, you need people to go invite. If you’re going to do a mailing, you need people to label postcards. Even re-landscaping, spring cleaning and sprucing up the outside of the church building is a form of marketing to the community. As you are doing these things, your people are connecting with each other and the community. And they are using their gifts in ministry.
Marketing won’t change the world, but Jesus can.
The goal isn’t to market, that’s a tool. The goal for any church is to share Jesus and to live out the great commission. Churches don’t have to be large to market – it requires a holy spirit filled passion to make sure the world knows about Jesus and that you, as a congregation, are confidently serving Him in any way you can.
So, what can you do to market your church this week? Maybe your church needs to build a marketing strategy.
Here’s a brainstorm list – add other in the comments.
Word of mouth
Remind people to invite
Display service times
Place mats in local eateries
Booth at homecoming
Poster at School
Prominently displayed service times
Invite students in your church to help market.
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