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Church Marketing: We Do That

We honestly don't know how it happened but we work for a lot a churches! None of us have a degree in theology nor did we actively seek out this market, yet here we are. And, we're pretty good at it.

It started with a new church that reached out to me years ago. I was given free reign and developed their brand, web presence, print and signage. The church enjoyed tremendous growth and went from meeting at a Holiday Inn to buying their own brick and mortar building. We did a lot of fun stuff, both online and within the church. They were clients of ours for nearly 12 years until the pastor retired and moved to Florida. After that, we added churches in Ohio, Florida and Indiana to our growing list of houses of worship.

It's truly satisfying work. Everyone is always upbeat, positive and very much ready to work! Our calendars are used to the work as well, whether it's Lenten Season or Vacation Bible School time, we gear up for those time-frames and are aware of the deadlines before we're even told. Often, we find ourselves initiating the work needed! "Hey gang, do we have the dates for VBS selected yet?"

While not specified in any contracts, we know our services are only useful when they're useful. So, we don't want to hold any organization behind by being a boat anchor; at any time our clients can end the business relationship. So, when it come to churches or member driven organizations, new memberships and member retention are always our goal. We do this through working with an initial SWOT analysis then build from there, which translates into what works and what doesn't and what we do about it. Here's one of my favorite questions I'll ask the deacons, elders or board of advisors during this initial process, "If I were new to your church and was struggling with the existence of Jesus Christ, would you welcome me?"

My fellow marketing associates outside of our firm think we're nuts. They affirm that churches and organized religion are on their way out and have been for many years. We don't see that. We do see change but it's very positive change. Where traditional churches in the U.S. were often ridged and very structured in the past, most are conforming more to the universal idea love and the Golden Rule. While we see powerful images of Jesus on the cross fading from the interior of churches, we see His message flowing through every minute of the service.

Having been raised Catholic, I'm pretty educated about Christianity. I attended a service recently where the pastor wore jeans, was unshaven and seemed like a pretty cool dude. His sermon was titled, "Coming Home." There were all sorts of audio and visuals used on multiple screens to support his message, which to me, oddly had few bible references. Or so the average person would believe. In fact, he mentioned a few times, "Don't get uncomfortable if I talk about Jesus." All the while, his sermon was very traditional in messaging, just framed for a younger, less churched audience. I understood every reference and they were all straight out of the bible! His sermon was followed by a terrific band that played modern Christian music mixed with contemporary songs related to the sermon.

This, by no means, is meant as a template for all churches. On the contrary, know your audience and understand their expectations, then meet them. Track the progress and adjust as needed.

Church Marketing Is More Than You Think

Think beyond your marketing committee, what you do at Christmas and Easter, your fliers, brochures, mailers, or even your Web site. Marketing is the sum of everything your church does.

How is your church phone answered? What is like to be ushered to your seat for service? How quickly are emails answered and how? Every person who attends your church is marketing for your church and everything your church does is marketing.

Sample Layout:

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Saturday, 04 December 2021