5 Church Marketing Mistakes

November 26, 2007 by

Tony Morgan just posted 5 marketing mistakes that churches make. Here’s his list:

  • Promoting your church instead of generating a response.
  • Making a promise you can’t keep.
  • Trying to be all things to all people.
  • Thinking other churches are your competition.
  • Publicizing programs that compete with another.

We’ve covered some of these things before. This isn’t necessarily an exhaustive list, but they are a few good guidelines to follow.

I think these and more boil down to two guidelines to follow in all of your marketing:

  • Marketing must follow the ethics of Christ
  • Use common sense and think things through. Twice. Maybe three times.
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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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5 Responses to “5 Church Marketing Mistakes”

  • Mean Dean
    November 27, 2007

    Need a clarification here on your first point: “Promoting your church instead of generating a response.
    Over on my blog, I talk quite a bit about conversion rates in terms of getting the visitor to do something, like visit for the first time on a Sunday morning.
    Is that what you mean by a response?

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  • Eric
    November 29, 2007

    Can you also clarify on how trying to be all things to all people is a mistake?
    Wasn’t this Paul’s strategy for ministry? And wasn’t he arguably the most successful church-planter and grower in history?
    Perhaps it is a mistake to try to be all things to all people at once. But I don’t see how adapting to various environments to effectively reach a broad range of people is a mistake.

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  • Gene Mason
    November 29, 2007

    Eric, I believe Paul meant that he would do nothing which would offend any person: for instance, he did not become a drunk to win the drunks; he did not become like the homosexual to found a homosexual ministry; he did not violate the Sabbath to be like the Gentiles; and he did not worship “like the Jews” in order to win the Jews.
    The context of 1 Corinthians is that he is addressing a church that said “we’re Christ-followers” and actually looked an awful lot more like the world than Christ (sound familiar in 2007?). This is not a “positioning” statement, it’s a “limiting” statement. He’s not saying, “I’ll become this or that”, but in the language of the time it’s more like, “I’ll avoid this and limit that” in order to gain the privilege of sharing within a particular group or culture.

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  • Greg
    December 5, 2007

    Definitely have generated ads that promoted the church instead of genrating a response.
    Dean – I agree that it is a mistake to be all things to all people all at once. Paul didn’t do that – his message was always localized. I think it needs to be the same for our audience.
    It’s much easier to hit a target when the center is defined. We might at times be a bit off center, but we’ll still come close to our target. Most churches don’t have the resources to reach all people. Better to define the target and go after those and then as you grow, to begin going after others.

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  • Religion Churches
    June 27, 2009

    Each of these points are very valid. I do however have one problem with not being all things to all people. Although it is true that your church can not be all things to all people because you will have one main type of people in your church.
    I do believe there are many churches because there are many personalities. That is why the church as a whole CAN be all things to all people.

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