Marketing and Church Planting
But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him.Romans 16:26
Recently, I was talking to a couple of our key leaders and one of them complimented me that I was an excellent marketer. I am not so sure about that. There are many people that are 1,000 times better than I am at marketing but the compliment was appreciated.
Now for some, marketing is a negative word. In fact, some people would put it on the level with cussing. And it should never be tied to the church. That comes from the abuses of marketing like telemarketing, or door to door marketing, or using unethical tactics to promote a product. Of course, the church should not be tied with something that is unethical. However, that is not what marketing is in it’s purest definition. Marketing is making something known. In our case, the message of our church.
When I first started formulating our “marketing plan”, I had to figure out how to communicate our message. There were 3 questions I needed to come to grips with in order to do this.
- Who are we and what do we believe?
- What are the core values we have?
- What do we want to accomplish in our community?
Once you can answer those questions then you can figure out what it is you want to make known in your community. Every month I would pick one of those answers and communicate that on our Church Facebook page and on my personal Facebook page. I focused on grace, the love of God, the Holy Spirit, worship, doing the stuff Jesus does, and being the church as a force (missional). Then Covid hit, and I started fighting the fear as well.
Did it work? Yes! After a year, the people of our community have heard about us. They do have an idea of who we are and what we believe and value. I run into a lot of people that when they find out who I am, they say “I have heard of you guys.” Or they tie us to one of our people who have been out in the community sharing our message.
One year ago, 12 people were at our first public service on a Sunday night where we just worshiped. Today we have around 40 people who call our church home and 25-30 who show up on any given Sunday morning. We have doubled in size since Covid hit. That in and of itself is miraculous!
Is it because of Sue or me? Heaven forbid! It is all because of the grace of God on our little church. He gave us our identity. He gave us our values. He gave us our mission. We just made it known and people heard His voice to join with us on this adventure.
Am I a good marketer? Not as good as Jesus. He gave 12 people a new identity, a new set of beliefs and values, and a mission for their community and they took it and made it known across the known world.
Are you a pastor or church planter? Take time to answer those 3 questions I answered. Then purposefully start making your message to your community known. You will be surprised by what God will do with it.