Marketing. It sounds slick, doesn’t it? It conjures up images of agencies in high rise New York buildings. But, did you know that you and your church or ministry have been called to marketing? You’re not convinced. Hold onto that thought for a moment and let’s look on your desk.
What electronic gadget do you hold dear that if if it disappeared for even just a couple minutes you’d come undone? Why did you buy it? How did you hear about it? Chances are you heard targeted advertising about that device. Or, even better, someone told you personally and recommended it. Maybe you saw it in action and had to have what that friend had.
Let’s bring it back to your church or ministry. How is your ministry reflected to others? How are they hearing about you? Is your congregation or staff active in sharing with others. Do others see in them something they can’t live without? Are we “selling” Jesus as much as we are the latest device we just purchased?
At the heart of every successful product is a company who believed so much in their product that they spent hundreds, thousands, even millions of dollars to make it known to others. Jesus bought our “product” for us — salvation — and we’ve been tasked by the Great Commission to reach our world with that saving message (Matthew 28:19). Paul said in Romans 10:14, “How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard?”
Marketing isn’t a bad word. It’s really evangelism — telling as many people as possible the great news about what your something is. In our case, it’s the Gospel. It’s life-saving for a dying world. Hey, we spend money on prescriptions because we’ve experienced how they can improve our health and even save our lives. How much more should we spend money strategically because we know our Message is going to save the world around us and bring them eternal life?
Here’s a quick plan of action:
- Be prayerful. Ask God for guidance and ultimately a vision for how to best reach your target audience.
- Set a goal. Be open to what God puts on your heart and don’t be afraid to have big ideas.
- Keep marketing budget-friendly. The church isn’t just a pastor and his staff — it’s an entire Body, and a ministry should work the same way. Make sure you are tapping into their true talents: design, media, copywriters, etc., in the best way possible and reaching out to a firm who understands your mission for any areas of weakness.
- Form a creative committee. Meet regularly to plan events, advertising, and outreach to your target audience or community.
- Go where the community is. Sponsor city events, get on radio, sponsor a night at a local shelter, provide babysitting for single moms. This is putting feet to your faith and people take notice.
- Be social. There’s a wide, inexpensive net you can cast here to reach new audiences through strategic, sharable, engaging posts.