Posted by: everynation | March 15, 2007

Church marketing sucks

by Lynn Nawata

headshot3.jpgLest you think you’ve mistyped the URL and stumbled into the wrong blog — fear not! “Church marketing sucks” actually refers to an excellent church resource blog which I have recently been reading.

Actually, the blog probably should be called “Church Marketing Exists???!!” They did an online survey recently which asked the question, “How many awards has your church won for church marketing?

Not surprisingly, 80% of respondants chose: “WHAT??? They give AWARDS for this stuff???!!” (caps and extra punctuation are mine)  Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not advocating that churches should shell out $5 million to get an a commercial to air during the Superbowl telecast. However, I think we need more blogs like this, whose self-described raison d’etre is: “To frustrate, educate and motivate the church to communicate, with uncompromising clarity, the truth of Jesus Christ.”

This is what church is all about. But I wonder, sometimes, if we really think about HOW we are communicating. A key principle of marketing is you have to know who your target audience is.

When was the last time you asked a first-time visitor what they REALLY think about your church? If you are a senior pastor, you probably can’t do this but as a staff member, I sometimes like to sit WAY in the back of the church during a service, amongst the late-comers and those who want to make sure they can make a quick exit in case the sermon gets too uncomfortable to handle. This is a great way to find out what people really think about the worship service.

Or when was the last time you asked a non-christian what he or she REALLY thinks about God? During a small group bible study last week, I asked the warm-up question: “How would you feel if you were on your way to meet God at the Shangri-La Hotel, and what is one question you would ask him?” The follow up question was, “How would you feel if you were going to have coffee with Jesus at Starbucks, and what’s one question you would ask him?” The replies were fascinating. One girl would want to know why God allows war. Another girl asked, “Aren’t God and Jesus the same person?”

It’s always worthwhile to go back to our roots. How did you view God before you became a Christian? (for some of us, we have to think a long way back for that!) And what was it that ultimately led you to make a life-changing decision to follow Him?

Lynn Nawata is the author of The Tale of Gaijin, Lynn’s Book Club, and is the Chief Blogging Officer of Every Nation Ministries.

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