Does your church have a phone listing, a sign out front, a Facebook page, a website, or a logo? If you answered yes to any of those questions, guess what? You’re already advertising. Another word for it is marketing. You may not be great at it because you’re not doing it intentionally.
Here’s the deal: As long as you’re communicating a message, you’re advertising whether you want to or not! You might as well learn how to do it well. You can either fear it, or view it as a way to start new relationships and reach people with God’s love.
You can be a biblical church and use marketing tools. This doesn’t have to be an either/or mentality; this can be a both/and. You can hold fast to the scriptures, and can use marketing tools to start new relationships. It doesn’t have to be either/or.
You can have a passionate, Jesus-centered approach that also uses marketing tools. When you say “go into all the world and tell them about Jesus,” marketing helps a church go into all the world using various tools.
- Go into the Internet with live streaming on your website
- Go into YouTube to post encouraging messages
- Go into Facebook to post interactive content
- Go into television to let people know you are here for them
Those are just a few of the tools available. Marketing is the strongest tool for furthering the good news, and it is most definitely biblical. Jesus spoke to people right where they were—geographically and emotionally. He touched and spoke to people individually about matters that were important to them. He went to where they were, using the things around them to get his message across.
Marketing today is largely digital and mobile. Over 64% of American adults have some kind of smartphone. Many more are using tablets and other mobile devices. Reaching people in today’s world is greatly dependent on developing a marketing strategy that relies heavily on mobile-friendly, online tools.
Here are some ways to engage in marketing and outreach:
- Word of Mouth – Train your members to be ambassadors for your church. They can invite the people they know in the community to your services and events.
- Church Website – This is the heart of your online outreach.
- Live Streaming – Many people will want to check out your service online before actually attending. Setting up a way to live stream your services is really important.
- Social Media – This is a great way to empower your members to reach out to people in the community.
- Paid Online Advertising – This helps people in the community who are looking for churches find you.
- Traditional Marketing – Direct mailing, billboards, television and radio are still relevant and reach many people.
Question: This seems overwhelming! So how do we go about this? Answer: Assemble Your Team!
With a team-based approach, no one person has to do it alone and feel responsible for everything. Building a team that can manage your church marketing efforts goes a long way toward ensuring you’ll hit your goals. Your church marketing team might include church leaders, staff members, volunteers – or a mix of all of the above. Here are some important steps to successful marketing.
- Define Your Audience
- Set Your Goals
- Set a Budget
- Set your Message
- Set Your Follow Up Team
With a dedicated team, a good marketing plan, and consistent effort over time, you’re likely to start seeing your church marketing efforts pay off! These strategies can help you help your church grow and thrive for years to come.
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