I-35W Bridge Collapse: A Church Marketing Perspective

August 2, 2007 by

You’ve surely heard by now, that the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed yesterday, killing at least four, injuring 79 and at least eight more are still missing. I live in the Twin Cities and while I don’t normally take that bridge I did drive over it with my daughter the day before it collapsed. It’s kind of surreal here and I’m having trouble tearing myself from the coverage (I’ve blogged about it here, here and here already).

I know church marketing and tragedy don’t fit well together, but the reality is that churches still need to communicate–especially in times of tragedy. I feel a bit like a broken record trying to talk about churches communicating during tragedy (Virginia Tech, Katrina, Tsunami), but the need is still there and it often happens best through action, either by offering cold water (“We’re out here because we think that’s what Jesus would do.”) or taking part in a prayer walk (Facebook login required) or whatever works. It’s that simple.

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?

3 Responses to “I-35W Bridge Collapse: A Church Marketing Perspective”

  • Mike Atkinson
    August 3, 2007

    I was wondering how this was affecting you there, Kevin.
    Great reminder. In fact, the best instance I saw of this was the day after the Vir Tech shooting. Very near the beginning of the NBC News broadcast, Brian Williams interviewed a local Baptist pastor. Now this guy looked like your normal southern Baptist preacher. I cringed and waited.
    I’ll tell ya…he nailed it. He oozed the love and compassion of Christ. He had been part of telling the families of the victims and all he did was communicated grace and love.
    One of those few times in my life I was proud to be associated with the church in America…

     | Permalink
  • Jeremy Scheller
    August 6, 2007

    I had driven back and forth over that bridge so many times in the previous 2 days….
    A few times I watched those jackhammers and cringed…
    I think the church has done a pretty good job rallying around the tragedy. Especially, with some of the inter-faith remembrance gatherings.
    Marketing in this situation is not really about how u get your name out there during the tragedy, but how well do u live out the love of Christ through the tragedy. And from what I’ve seen so far, the church at large has done a great job…

     | Permalink
  • Rob D.
    August 8, 2007

    Have you observed journalists in the area moving beyond descriptions of the collapse? In other words, are any local journalists or other news outlets empowering the public with prescriptions that will help people get involved to help prevent this type of thing from happening in the future?
    My guess is this might not happen. All the more reason for churches to mobilize people to action!
    My thoughts on this topic are here -http://robdubinski.wordpress.com/

     | Permalink

The Christian Walk