I came across an article a while back from ChurchMarketingSucks based on a poll that asked the question, ?What is your number one church marketing fear- The idea behind the poll is that many churches do not market themselves (or do very little marketing) because the church is afraid. Maybe it’s a fear that the marketing will not be any good, maybe it’s a fear that the church will become dependant on marketing instead of spiritual growth. Are you being controlled by fear?
You can read the article on the churchmarketingsucks website. It was posted in March of 2009.
Are you or is your church afraid to market itself? If so what specifically is that you’re afraid of? Some fears may be valid in the sense that what you fear is something to be aware of and avoid. For example, you may fear that your church will become obsessed with the marketing and loose focus on Christ. Certainly, that is not something you want, but does that mean that you avoid church marketing? If I drive my car to the store, I could get into an accident. I could let that fear prevent me from driving my car, or I could let that fear motivate me to be as safe a driver as I can. I tend to see things from the second approach. I?d rather get the benefits of driving a car while making sure I avoid getting into an accident.
There was a post I found particularly interesting that I found in the comments of the churchmarketingsucks article:
I attended seminary and majored in homiletics (public speaking) to prepare myself to be a pastor. Did I bypass God? Does anyone worry that I?ll be tacky and gimmicky because I did? If it’s okay to use speaking training, isn’t it also okay to use marketing training? Why must Christians bypass known skills and experience to truly lead others to God?
Sometimes Christians fear that using learned skills will somehow lessen the work of God. I would argue that God gave us the ability to learn and that we shouldn’t be afraid to learn useful skills and use them in our service of Him.
If you?ve been trying to get your church to start being more intentional about marketing, but seem to run into road block after road block, it may very well be that some of the people in your church fear something about church marketing. Knowing what that fear is may help you to be able to address it.
If there is a fear of the gimmicky approach to marketing, perhaps you can start with a marketing strategy that is less prone to issues, like Christian search engine optimization. Once you?ve convinced the congregation on one approach to church marketing, you may find that the next step is a little easier.
What do you think? Is there fear in your church of church marketing? What fears do the people in your church have? Do you think these fears are legitimate and should they prevent a church from marketing itself?