Adapted from http://www.newblood.com/blog/marketing-your-ministry-effectively-aka-church-evangelism/ by Jeremy Oms
Marketing Your Ministry Effectively: AKA Church Evangelism
Like entrepreneurs who have the passion to increase the value and growth of their business, pastors also have the zeal to reach communities of people and spread their ministry to these groups so it can eventually help their church grow. This is the “business” of pastors and evangelists- Church Evangelism. However, if the hard work you put on your evangelism still isn’t bringing people through your church doors, you need to probably work on your marketing. Yes, this is right!!! Marketing your church will help you motivate people to hear and live out your ministry, thus resulting to church growth.
Church marketing and Church Evangelism work on similar purposes. In fact, church evangelism and basic marketing have some similarities in ways they work. While business owners make deals for their products so that their customers will buy them, preachers and evangelists are on the works to invite people in learning and accepting their church ministry- therefore “closing prospects.” It is basically a process of getting the “word out” to make people aware of the services that your church offer and motivate them to take part in it.
Marketing is not only for the corporate world. The purpose or employment of marketing transcends beyond just commercial or business use. Because marketing ultimately involves managing the perception of people, it is also just as important for a church to use it as a company does. You must remember that intelligent marketing leads to thriving growth.
Church Marketing: Simplified!!
In order to achieve church growth, you need to market it. Though there are many who say that it is unusual for church to use it, marketing can help in ministry and evangelism.
Marketing is simply a form of communication. Whether you believe it or not, you are marketing when you are delivering your ministry to people who go through your church doors. You are telling people about your church, thus you are communicating a message. Even in times when you don’t say anything, your church is still marketing. It reaches people through your ministry and service to the community.
Churches that don’t market are like people who don’t talk at all. It is very important for people to talk in order to form relationships. So when a church does not market, it is difficult for anyone to develop a relationship with it. Since one of a church’s ultimate goals is for people to enable people to serve the mission through ministry, churches are built on relationships. With this, marketing is a requirement for growth. Just try to imagine your church as a business- A business of bringing people into relationship with their transcendent purpose.
Planning your Church Marketing
Whether your church has only 100 people or 10,000, you want it to grow. But growth does not happen overnight. You need to dedicate time and effort to plan and work for it. All strategies and tactics for growth start with a marketing plan.
It is not a requirement to have an elaborate marketing plan. As long as you have a marketing plan, you can work with it as long as it has the significant elements in it. You must remember that a marketing plan is one of the most powerful instruments in your marketing toolbox. When you have your plan, you can market effectively. Bear in mind the maxim, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Here is how you start your plan for your church marketing.
Elucidate Your Church Vision and Mission
You need start with clarifying your church’s mission and vision. Identify the reasons why you have your church or the rationale you believe your church was built on.
Many churches believe that they are formed because they have the responsibility to reach out to those who are lost and eventually teach and train them to play important roles in the church’s works to impact the world. Whatever your mission and vision, you should focus on these in the whole process of making your church marketing plan and on employing your plans.
Focus On Your Market
Your church marketing plan should focus on a specific market. This means that you need to concentrate on a specific group of people. You need to identify the “who” you want your specific church marketing strategies to reach. It is important that you know who you are talking to so that you can effectively communicate and speak to their needs.
Some church target on a specific age range such as school age children, adolescents, or adults. Other churches focus mainly on people who want to learn the scriptures. There are also churches who want to focus on non-believers. Still, there are churches who want to attract diverse market and develop strategies to invite just about everyone.
Develop Your Church’s Identifying Mark
This simply means branding. Branding will differentiate you from other churches. But this is not done in order for your focus group to choose you over other churches. Branding is created so that you can provide your focus group with the definite solution to their spiritual needs or wants.
A good branding in your marketing approach will mean that you have delivered your message clear and established credibility. You know that you have at least connected emotionally to your focus group. This will result to creating a motivated focus group that can help you achieve your church’s mission and vision. You have to remember that your church’s identifying mark is found in the hearts and minds of your church members.
Promoting Your Church
Your church marketing plan should involve promotion. But this is not as complicated and as expensive like the promotion in the corporate world. You can use of some cost-effective promotion tools to help you market your church.
- Word of Mouth. There is no better marketing strategy than word of mouth. If you take care of your church members and anyone who enters your doors, they will tell others. This does not cost you any dime to employ this tactic- it is free. It is tested and proven effective.
- Website. Aside from businesses, most churches have recognized the power of the internet and web pages. Most people are accessing the Internet to look and discover a new church. If you have a website, you can tell people to tell them who you are. Make sure that the content of your website are those that will matter and give impact to your members or potential prospects. Good content will drive people to come back and browse your website. Your website content that meet the needs of your church members and appeal to your target group will be the driving forces that will help your church grow.
- Newsletters and Other Media. You can produce weekly newsletters for your members. You can give them copies and even publish it in your community newspaper. You can also have them delivered through other media outlets you have in your locality. This will help you to “get the word out.”
- Social Media. You can also take advantage of social media. Today, it is the “new word of mouth.” The power of social media reaches almost everyone who has access to the internet. It is free and effective.
These are only a few of the important steps you can do to market your church. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to “get the word out.” You just have to be true to what your church has envisioned and choose marketing strategies that works and appeal to people.
Link2Lead Video and Registration Tutorial (Free, detailed demographic data for CERG congregations)
Questions for Discussion at Our Next Process Circle
- What aspects of the content in Module 2 most excite you? What aspects pose a challenge for you?
- How will you market your marketing initiative to your congregation?
- What are your first steps? How will you get started in initiating a marketing campaign?