Marketing the Church is like Marketing the Pope

April 22, 2005 by

Pope Benedict XVIWhen some people think of church marketing, I think they’re closer to the peddling of trinkets and other lame aspects of marketing. Like this story about the sales of new pope merchandise.

Of all the marketing that goes into the whole process of installing a new pope—the event planning, the public relations, the design and printing of programs, the organization of the whole thing, etc.—the photos and trinkets hocked by street vendors are one of the least important marketing components, and in most cases not something controlled by the Vatican. A pope keychain is church marketing that sucks.

Some folks miss that point and think we’re condemning all church marketing. Not a chance. That would mean wagging a finger at things like planning and clear communication and having a vision. We want to encourage those things. It makes me wonder if we’re not communicating clearly enough, if our own marketing sucks.

(Update: This Maine columnist complains about the marketing of Jesus, and this guy agrees offering the historical perspective of Charles Spurgeon. That’s great, but you’re forgetting authenticity. Any marketing that lacks authenticity, that sacrifices the Gospel, that seeks to make a buck from Christ—well, it sucks.)

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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