What does a business cut when they run short of money? What else?—marketing. What should be the last thing a business should cut?—marketing.
Does your church do any marketing or do you feel like that is so secular that you couldn’t possibly do it?
Does your church budget anything for marketing? 5%, 7%, 10% or are you like most churches and you don’t budget anything? Maybe you do a yellow page ad or an ad in the local newspaper, but do you market special programs? Do you have any special programs? Do you do any telephone marketing? Do you send postcards about your Christmas program?
Just last week on the news I saw a pastor that purchased time on a billboard, and developed a website to advertise a special program at his church. He made it clear that they only advertise special programs and this one was most interesting. Cut and paste this site and see the ad: www.mylamesexlife.com
Check it out. I think you will be amazed at what they do, how professional they are and at the response they get. In a television interview the pastor said that they usually get at least 400 new people each time they do this kind of ad campaign. This is a mainline church, Granger Community Church, which wasn’t in existence ten years ago and now they are a mega church.
I have worked in churches that didn’t do any advertising and ones that have done a little. One of those churches that did no advertising grew into one of the first mega churches in the United States. They grew because of dedicated members who did the marketing.
When I have had touring groups come to town I have always advertised in the newspaper and on the radio. When you have special events where you want to draw audience other than just your church members you need to advertise. Usually concerts will draw a large outside audience and you can almost guarantee that some of those people will come to church and even join. Most of the time those are unchurched people who find out what the church is about at a concert and return for worship.
Here are two rules that I go by:
I never buy yellow page advertising because it is unproductive. Have your church name and number in the yellow pages but don’t buy an ad. If you have lots of extra money then buy an ad, but if you are on a limited budget a yellow page ad won’t pay for itself.
Make sure that all of your marketing is professionally done. I don’t mean it has to be produced by a professional company, but it has to have a very professional look.
Marketing helps put your church on the map. It’s easier to get a friend to attend your church if they have heard something about it in the past. Marketing can create a buzz about your church in your community.
Here are a couple of websites that speak to marketing. Make a Google search and find others.
Artistry Marketing: www.artistrymarketing.com
Yes, it’s true, your church needs to grow from the inside out, but you also need to create some community excitement so your members will want to bring their unchurched friends.
Get your people out there marketing your church, but also do some marketing that focuses on special programs and let’s your community know what you are doing. Make those programs so exciting that everyone in your community will want to attend. Be sure to invite me.
© 2007, Ken Johnson, President and CEO of The Ken Johnson Group, LLC, Church Consultants. To contact Ken, or for permission to reprint this article, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org