The Failure of Church Marketing

May 11, 2009 by

In a recent article published on, Jonathan Foster takes some shorts at church marketing. The article is entitled The Failure of Church Marketing, and he goes through a fairly common criticism of church marketing.

He argues that laser light shows and whizz-bang web sites have become the primary goal of some churches rather than life change. He goes through the medium-message argument that we have discussed before here and here. In the end, he concludes that church marketing is failing because too many churches are choosing to have incredible media, leaving the message by the wayside.

We couldn’t agree more.

Stop only doing marketing. Stop not doing marketing. Marketing sucks when it’s the primary focus of churches and when it’s not even on the radar.

Simply develop your message, and ask yourself the best way to communicate it without compromising.

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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5 Responses to “The Failure of Church Marketing”

  • Jeff Goins
    May 11, 2009

    Great response, Josh. I love CMS’s commitment to redefine “marketing” as a relevant tool for the church. Marketing is inevitable; it’s nothing more than communicating your message. This blog taught me that. Be encouraged.

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  • David Mehrle
    May 11, 2009

    I appreciate the way you guys push for the church to be on the front edge of reaching people. However, do it with the message in mind. That message is not centrally focused us gathering a crowd, it is on the Gospel changing lives.

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  • the one at church
    May 11, 2009

    I am one person among a relatively large staff, with the sole job of electronic media – our website, e-newsletter, and I’m plugging a blog with the staff. Which means that I can afford to focus on trying to have kickin’ media.

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  • jonathan foster
    May 11, 2009

    thanks for reading guys. good stuff. and thanks for the mondaymorningmemo link. excellent.

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  • Agreed! Get the Biblical message focused first. Without a Bible-based message the marketing is empty and meaningless. When the message is clear and Jesus-centered…then the marketing can begin!

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