Church Marketing Synonyms Poll

May 2, 2007 by

2007_05_01synonyms.jpgLast week, we asked you how you would describe church marketing. The majority of you, 56% actually, would describe it as “intentional communication.” That sounds to us like 56% of you are right on board with us.

13% of you believe church marketing is perfectly correlated with evangelism. When you tell someone about Christ, you are marketing. When you create something, you are marketing to have people come to Christ. Another 19% of you took the positive stance describing marketing as “community outreach.” Church marketing is your way to let people know you exist and know you care.

A lesser number of you don’t look on church marketing so fondly. 9% of you describe it as “manipulation,” and 3% of you think it “heresy.” You ought to check out these entries to understand why we do what we do.

As always, tell us what you said and why in the comments. How does your church treat marketing?

This week, we want to know a little bit more about you, so let us know who you are and what you do!

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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4 Responses to “Church Marketing Synonyms Poll”

  • Damian Kinsella
    May 2, 2007

    At it’s base, church marketing is simply the attempt of an organization (just like any other, be it for profit or not) vying for the attention of people who are very busied. Much of church marketing is about getting people directly to church, and is peripherally about directing them to God. I think this could not truthfully be called evangelism. Poor communication on this end, what I call iLL Communication, is where manipulation comes in. We could call it Evandalism. :) – Damian

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  • brad
    May 2, 2007

    Hmmm, you have a point Damian. Often marketing feeds into the “get them into the doors of a church” model of evangelism, which often falls flat (they come in, take a look around, shrug, and leave). How would you do it differently?
    I see church as the focus of biblical evangelism (that is, living in faith cannot be done outside of living in community), and thus church is the most usual context for people ask about and understand God.
    How are you defining manipulation here? (Dare we dance on the head of this pin?) Asked another way, how can evangelism be done without the intent to affect a certain outcome?

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  • Gloria
    May 3, 2007

    People really think of it as “heresy?”
    That’s not a joke?
    I’d really love to hear from those people to understand why they think that. That kind of thinking is so foreign to me.
    Manipulation I can understand to a certain extent, because I do believe that, in a way, Church Marketing is that; (without all the negative connotations to the word)Intentional Communication is only a nice way of saying it that doesn’t bring the subtle undertones of falsehood that “manipulate” does.
    When you really think about it, we are trying to:
    1. To treat, work, or operate with the hands, especially when knowledge and dexterity are required; to manage in hand work; to handle; as, to manipulate scientific apparatus.
    2. To control the action of, by management.
    We do not do this “artfully” in the sense of skillful contrivance or falsehood, (trying to trick people into following Jesus by using false representations of Him and His Church) rather we seek to represent Him by the other extreme– Full Truthfulness; showing the likeness of which there is no perfect likeness here on Earth. If we happen to do so using time-tested methods that have been proven effective, so be it.
    “Manipulation,” I understand… “Heresy,” not so much.

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  • Casey VCW
    May 3, 2007

    I voted for intentional communication. At first I was thinking evangelism but I consider marketing only one piece of the evangelism puzzle.
    Marketing should never be manipulation. If a church’s marketing is manipulative than the church is probably lying. For example marketing a wonderful childrens program when the church doesn’t even have a childrens program.
    However, I do feel marketing has always been an over exaggeration. For the most part life is pretty plain and simple but graphics, videos, and other marketing material can pump anything up to seem more exciting, more organized, or more exciting than what it truly is. Is this manipulation? Or simply the way our society operates?
    If a church cannot live up to their marketing they shouldn’t market.

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Poll Results