“We don’t need marketing, we’re a church!”, said the Pastor. Sure, it was awhile ago but it was said with such intensity that it rattled me. Is marketing wrong?
Does the Church need marketing? The short answer: YES!
Many people think that marketing is just for businesses and leads to profitability. Well, maybe it does set that stage. But essentially, marketing is 1) based on a market’s needs, 2) a product is developed based on those needs and 3) and the product is introduced to the market in such a way that it compels the market to adopt the product (or service).
Jesus commanded us to make disciples while we’re conducting our lives (Matthew 28:19-20). I see this as good marketing! We must take the “product” of grace, mercy, forgiveness (Jesus!) to a world we come in contact with. And do it such a way that they’ll see the value of it and become disciples.
See, we need marketing in the church. Here’s 4 essential reasons why:
- You have a Story they need. Talk about a unique product! Jesus is the only way to salvation. And how does that message spread? Jesus said that He’s relying on us (in the power of the Holy Spirit) to tell people. If we drop the ball, the rocks may have to scream it out. It’s that important.
- They’ve stopped listening. The world (community) around us has stopped relying on the church for anything. And certainly, they aren’t engaging with us. In fact, the fastest way to get the community to stop listening? Start talking in religious terms. That, with low attention-spans and the amount of communication noise all around us, it’s difficult to get anyone to listen about anything today!
- You need to enter their world. Marketing (or effective church communication) starts controlling what’s said and converts “religion” into something that engages and connects. The world needs help understanding that their problems and goals REQUIRE Jesus in order to fulfill them. So Christ-followers need assistance with messaging and methods. This is marketing communication. But as local church leadership, you need to do the heavy-lifting for your congregation. Supply them with excellence in marketing so that it’s controlled in such a way so they’ll pass it along to people “while they’re going”. And the product (delivered in an effective way) may be received. Will they accept it? Some will but some won’t. Marketing just presents the product in such a convincing way that it calls for the question: “Accept it, reject it, or seek more information”. Often, a Christian lacks the skill to take the message to that point. Good marketing helps them.
- Jesus commanded you to “Go and Tell”. Why do we need marketing? Because Jesus said so. There. Do you need a better reason? Take our message (as effectively as possible) so that people will decide to follow. Or not. Just do it. Get marketing assistance from a qualified marketing professional who knows and follows Jesus Christ. And one who wants to help you market your church to a world that’s lost and dying. Our world has ignored the solution for too long.