Churches market themselves whether they are comfortable with the term and concept or not.
Marketing is more than promoting things. It involves thinking through every entity and detail involved in how the outside world perceives your church.
- When you don’t pay your bills
- When you don’t mow your grass
- When you talk over the heads of people
- Use language people don’t understand
- When you put cheesy sayings on your
You are shaping the minds and hearts of the people in your target community—that’s marketing!
What is marketing?
The core of marketing is connecting people to an entity. That’s exactly what we are about—connecting people to our defining entity--Jesus Christ.
Marketing is the management of perception. We want to manage people’s perceptions toward the hopeful end that they will respond to the Gospel of Christ.
Managing people’s perceptions might include many elements of our ministry:
- Ministry style
- Handling guests
- Church name
A marketing strategy founded in truth gives you the ability to shape people’s perception.
1) the ability to understand how people perceive you today
2) a vision for how you would like people to perceive you tomorrow
3) making decisive strides and adjustments on your way to communicating to people so that they learn to perceive you the way you desire
Biblical Foundation for Marketing
1 Cor. 9:19-23
Is target marketing biblical?
Acts 17:22-24; Acts 18:3-4
Studying lifestyle characteristics: “use of demographics to study and measure attitudes, values, lifestyles and opinions, as for marketing purposes”
We need to speak their language.
We need to tear down barriers to belonging.
We need to understand and relate to their lives.
- Where do they shop?
- What do they drive?
- What do they wear?
- What do they talk about?
- How many children do they have?
- What do they do for a living?
- How do they spend their spare time?
Fundamentals of Growth
Be honest, pray about it, diagnose it, and be willing to make adjustments. Know where church growth comes from. It either comes laterally, from other churches or communities, or it comes vertically, from spiritual conversion. Either way, it comes from connecting well with visitors. If you don’t connect well, people will not return and your own people will be less likely to invite anyone else. Never count on the second-chance visitor.
1) How can you church be more inviting to visitors?
2) How can your church enhance your church’s compatibility with your community?
3) Are your services consistent? How can they be more consistent while still staying fresh?
4) How can the service be relevant to all spiritual levels?
5) How can the elements of the service be relevant to all levels of understanding?
6) Is your church sensitive? What can you do to answer more questions than you provoke?
Church Marketing 101
Baker Books 2006