Testimony Billboards

February 15, 2007 by

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports on a church billboard campaign that’s personal. Love this quote:

“Marketing and evangelism are the same thing,” says Mara Einstein, associate professor of media studies at the City University of New York and author of the forthcoming book Brands of Faith: Marketing Religion in a Commercial Age. “A product becomes a part of a user’s personality, and the users of the product become evangelizers of the product.”

(link via CT’s Weblog)

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.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

4 Responses to “Testimony Billboards”

  • Gene Mason
    February 16, 2007

    But marketing and disciple-making are not the same thing. Jesus never commands us to evangelize. He does command us to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). “Believing” in a “product” is not the same as modeling a “product”. Believing in Christ is not the same as modeling Christ with your life in order to disciple others. I think this article is way, way off the mark.

     | Permalink
  • Rich Schmidt
    February 19, 2007

    Did you read the article, Gene? Ms. Einstein is using “evangelism” in the marketing sense of the word. It’s quite common these past two decades or so.
    But it works in the “Christian” sense of the word, too. The people on the billboard are testifying (briefly) about what God has done for them through their local church. They’re sharing the good news as it has impacted them. That’s evangelism.
    Sure, it’s not the end of the process. But it’s a beginning! Anyone who responds to the “marketing” that these churches are doing will surely be welcomed into a process that involves worship, discipleship, fellowship, service, and all the rest. Nobody thinks these billboards are going to do all the work.

     | Permalink
  • Pam Parish
    February 25, 2007

    Kevin – thanks for posting this. The actual billboard designs can be viewed in the Church Marketing Lab… link is:
    The response from these billboards has been great for our church. People really connect to the stories that are being shared and the idea that you don’t have to have it all together to be a part of a local church. Rich’s comments above are correct, Christ’s love for us is an “as is” love. Evangelism in its truest form takes people where they are… in the midst of hurt…confusion…unbelief…sickness.. and shows them that there’s a better way. By sharing other’s stories, people can connect to those who have journeyed before them and more quickly come to the life-changing, eternity-altering knowledge of Christ.
    The true beauty of using real stories is also exactly what Gene said above… the people that shared their stories are, in fact, modeling Christ with their lives and using their stories of change to disciple others.
    And, in Atlanta, what better place to reach people “where they are” – in their cars – stuck in traffic! :o)

     | Permalink
  • advertising churches
    August 14, 2009

    Our own testimony is so powerful! In fact I believe it was in rev. that I read “They over came him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimonies.”

     | Permalink