Myth #3: Marketing Alone Will Grow Your Church
Kerry Bural nailed it, he says "Ministry leaders sometimes think that marketing will overcome their downward attendance trends. While marketing may help raise awareness in the community, there is no substitute for a church body with the right heart and right purpose who is highly motivated to reach their community. Marketing merely backs up the 'real work' in your ministry—the work of engaging and relating to people."
Brandon Cox says "Jesus didn't have a brand to market. The truth is, Jesus described John the Baptist as a "funeral" and Himself as a "wedding." He was known for His encouraging joviality. Jesus had a brand and the Great Commission, while being about some very high principles, is also about publicity – it's a command to tell everyone about the essence of Jesus."
Laura Click says "I think for churches to really expand their reach, they need to employ a grassroots marketing strategy. Churches will be far more successful if they get out into the community to help others and try to reach "the lost". Churches need to be more proactive about encouraging its members to invite their friends, co-workers and neighbors."
Instead of doing the uncomfortable task of inviting peers to church, churches tend to employ a "hands off" method to attracting people to church. For instance, I see churches (including my own) spend money on newspaper ads and postcards for Christmas and Easter. I asked them why they do this and they say "because we always have done it." While this approach may attract a few people for those holiday services, it's not going to create a lasting, long-term relationship with people.
Huw Tyler's says it is a myth that marketing is just promotion. See below the 4 Ps of marketing:
Product – so important to sort ourselves out before moving on
Placement – finding the best placement in media, geography and theology
Price – funny one for churches, do with it what you will
Promotion – the thing usually considered
Lyall Mercer says one myth is everyone in our community knows our church. Most pastors will be shocked to know how many have no idea.
Curtis Simmons say's the myth is that you have to do marketing at all, get your congregation to invite others, give them things to hand out.
What do you think? Can marketing grow your church?
Should it be the primary vehicle for church growth?
Should we ignore markeitng and just educate our people into sharing their faith?
If no one in your community has heard of your church is marketing a tool that can bridge that gap?
Get commenting below and start the debate.