Rodney is the President of Bowen Digital, and a Contributor in the area of Communications/Ministry Marketing. This interview was originally posted in our May 2016 Newsletter.
Q. I know you’ve been involved in Marketing for 25 years. How much of that has been in working with ministries, and how did God lead you to work with Christian organizations?
A. I’ve been working with Christian organizations for 22 years. In 1994, I moved to Nashville to work in Christian music marketing with EMI Music Group (which is now Capital Music Group) in various Marketing and Sales roles, and then transferred to Word Entertainment where had the opportunity to launch the FoxFaith movie marketing brand into the Christian retail marketplace. From there, I transitioned to a faith-based boutique marketing agency where I worked with Christian movies such as “Facing the Giants”, “Fireproof” and “Courageous”. God had been stirring in me a desire to help ministries more directly and—out of the blue—I was connected with The A Group, a major marketing and technology agency that focuses on Christian media ministry clients. At the A Group, I was able to really sharpen my skills in SEO and, about two years ago, the Lord opened doors for me to start my own business, helping ministries and Christian organizations to meet their marketing goals.
Q. Why is Marketing important to all ministries?
A. If we don’t market our ministries, we lose the ability to permit people to discover what our ministry provides—which can cause them to miss out on something that could be critical to their lives. It’s helpful to think of our ministry as a stewardship. God has given us this ministry to share with others—and He has prepared others to hear what our ministry provides. It’s important that we don’t just create the ministry and hope lives will be touched. We need to use the tools the Lord has provided to get the message out.
Q. What have you found limits ministry leaders in the area of Marketing, and what advice do have for overcoming that limitation?
A. Many ministry leaders I speak with are overwhelmed because they think Marketing needs to be very complex. In truth, Marketing is easier than most people think; we just need to do it. It really can be as simple as identifying our goals and, in faith, taking that next step. Start small by intentionally connecting with people who are already within your circle of influence and grow from there. The result will be a simple, natural progression of your Marketing, which will organically grow your ministry’s influence. (Read Rodney’s article “Ministry Marketing – As Easy as 1,2,3”.)
Q. Are there any other limitations ministry leaders commonly share with you?
A. Yes. Again, I think it’s really a matter of perception. Quite often, ministry leaders tell me that—although they believe the idea for their ministry came from the Lord—they don’t believe they’re qualified to lead it and share what they’re doing with others.
Q. How do you help them overcome that perception?
A. This is a bigger topic than just Marketing. The truth is, as Christians, we just need to get ahold of the truth of who we are in Christ. On the face of it, their perceptions are true; they aren’t good enough…none of us are. But God is. And, as I mentioned earlier, I believe that, while God has prepared you to launch that ministry, He has been putting your team in place and preparing hearts and minds to the message you are preparing. But, in order for that ministry to be all it was meant to be, we need to get past our own feelings of inadequacy and be willing to tell others about it.
Q. How can you encourage people who are just starting to get their Marketing together?
A. Rejoice that the Lord has put something on your heart to reach others! If God has given you that ministry, I truly believe that He will make a way for your ministry to thrive.
Q. What are some of the specific ways you have been blessed by helping ministry leaders with their Marketing?
A. Over and over, I’ve see that God working in the details. I have witnessed so many “divine appointments” and I’ve seen so many connections made that—to the world—might just seem to be coincidences. When men and women of faith step out to do the thing God has put on their heart, great things happen, and I’ve been blessed to see God’s faithfulness, time and time again.
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