Church Marketing Moderation

October 1, 2007 by

A lot of times, we talk about (obviously) how church marketing sucks. What churches have done wrong, what they could do better, how they could go farther, or where they missed the forest for the trees. If you read between the lines, you’ll hear a subtle undertone of “Go farther” and “Reach more.”

A reader e-mailed us a YouTube video that shows exactly what happens when you keep on going further and reaching more.

If you check out our posts on church marketing philosophy, you’ll notice one thing we hold dearly to: message always comes before marketing. No matter how much you market your brick in a box, your soil-textured wallpaper, or your bathroom scent mints, they’re not going to sell.

With churches, the commodity is different, it’s not money that we’re selling. It’s life change that we’re giving.

It’s true that getting people in the doors is half the battle. But if people get in the doors expecting only to feel good and experience something shallow, they’ll be a little disappointed to hear about taking up their cross.

When you’re creating an identity, communicating, and marketing, it’s critical to keep in mind your target audience. And no matter what you’re marketing, the target audience isn’t everyone. We’ve talked before about being sensitive to your location, your demographics, and your visitors.

But think about adding a new filter to your target audience: the ready.

Some seed will fall on hard soil. All we can do is spread the seed. If the soil is hard, that doesn’t mean we have to create a new seed that is able to penetrate the more difficult soil. We can’t turn into First Trinty Unity Community Church of the United States.

There’s a point where our marketing can go too far and forsake our message for the sake of the unwilling. Don’t go there. Don’t cut your outreach. Don’t limit your evangelism. Don’t downgrade your advertising. And definitely don’t forsake your message for friendlier marketing.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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2 Responses to “Church Marketing Moderation”

  • Mike Hosey
    October 1, 2007

    Cody –
    That was great! It’s ironic how something so sad can be so funny. The youtube vid looks a little too much like the modern American church sometimes. Scary but funny.

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  • danielle
    October 2, 2007

    “But if people get in the doors expecting only to feel good and experience something shallow, they’ll be a little disappointed to hear about taking up their cross.”
    love this. spot on. i’ve really been enjoying your articles joshua cody. we forget that marketing is just a tool to communicate the truth sometimes. the world often uses marketing it to communicate lies so they can manipulate you. even if our intentions are pure, it is easy to fall into manipulative advertising to get people in pews and it is so wrong. the package we present our message in is just as important as the message itself. if they don’t match, the message will not be communicated.
    there is such a fine line between reaching people where they are and letting them stay there for as long as they like without ever undergoing a change. biblical christianity is anything but comfortable. people come to church expecting to be moved and inspired by contemporary music and topical message because that’s what the newpaper article or billboard said would happen. they get angry because they didn’t experience it the way they would have liked to. people leave the church over these things all the time.
    your right, some seed will fall on hard soil. the church’s job is just to make sure they have communicated the message the best they can and not worry about those who won’t respond. you cannot water the message down or you will do a great disservice to those who would have responded anyway had you not.

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