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Learn more about my journey in church and marketing.
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Feb 01

What Every Church Needs To Know about Marketing: Part 2: Marketing is Everything

Feb 01
Feb 01

Marketing is everything. The box many have placed marketing within is generally only a slice of it—or is not even marketing at all. If you see it as door hangers, direct mailers and billboards, you are thinking about advertising—a slice of the marketing pie. I remember when I told my mother-n-law that we were starting a marketing firm, she responded by saying, “Yikes! Marketing! I hate it when those people call my house at night.” This is not marketing. It is tele-marketing—an aspect under the marketing umbrella, but marketing is so much more.

Marketing is everything you do that creates the perception of who you are and what you value to your community. How well you maintain your campus—marketing. The name of your church—How your greeters greet—How your ushers ush—all marketing. If your message is aimed at the choir or to the lost—Even how your congregants live their lives—all marketing. All of these things affect how people see your church. The reality is, that even churches that do not believe in church marketing are currently marketing—perhaps just not doing it well.

In the corporate world, the scope of marketing spans from market research where data studies produce insights into buyer behavior, through decisions that define the very details of the product, it’s pricing and how and where it is sold. It likewise includes the packaging, branding, advertising and client experience. Marketing drives everything. It is the ability to define whom you are trying to reach, how you will reach them and what they will do with you after they have been reached. Have you ever developed a message to connect people to Christ? Then you have marketed—you simply just called it something else. The heart of marketing is managing the connection between you and the people you are called to reach.

Many think it is about getting people to your church. I challenge that it is equally about getting them to come back; to get in a small group; to volunteer; to lead. Marketing is everything. If you are not getting the results you desire, you have a marketing problem. Everything you do speaks. What are you telling us?

check back for more on this in a few days...



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Dude - Haven't read anything biblical yet...

I'll give you the beneift of the the doubt for now, but when i read you were a self professed 'marketing phenom', it rang a few alarm bells

Give me some Gospel brother

Posted on Mon, Feb 8, 2010 @ 8:34 PM CST

Smon Steele

AWESOME, thanks so much for sharing you wisdom.

Posted on Tue, Feb 9, 2010 @ 12:27 PM CST


Bro, getting people to come back is the job of the Holy Spirit...The Gospel is the marketing...be really careful with this teaching, it is not biblical, and is very dangerous. Christ raises churches, then marketing may be used...Marketing does not raise churches...be careful :-)

Posted on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 @ 10:16 AM CST

Richard Reising

Thanks Lou/Bert,
I agree with you about our need to rely on the Holy Spirit. I appreciate your concern. I hope you read more to see my full point. It is often a challenge to share with people about our need to represent Christ well without people assuming that the focus is being put on the "polish" or the "veneer".

There is no doubt the presence of God is the main thing. Its the only real thing. While there are many sites and ministries dedicated to ushering in His presence, the site you are reading here is dedicated to helping us represent Christ well and do a good job of connecting with the souls that God brings our way. I hope you will read more to see the heart of what I am saying is not that the "outside" is the only thing. It is, however, what the Bible tells us that the lost world sees when they look at us. 1 Sam 16:7 tells us that while God looks on our heart, man looks on the outside. I consider it a labor of love to help them see Christ and His wisdom in all we do.

If you will Facebook me and send me your address, I will send you a copy of my book and you can truly analyze my full thoughts. I welcome the accountability. I trust you will see that there is value in connecting with people--and that my heart is to reshape the concept of marketing within the church--helping us to recognize that it is our duty to properly communicate Christ. Many thanks.

Posted on Thu, Apr 8, 2010 @ 4:59 PM CST

Bruce Harkins

that was a kind and lovely way of responding to rudeness tinged with some uppity acrimony.

I came to your place here to see some of what you had to say on your 'marketing is everything' theory. It is a measured and thoughtful position. Akin to personal responsibility, where I take the example of the phrase, 'character is everything.' For who you are, who your group is, will be disseminated for all to see and to be fairly judged on those measurements.

I'm almost 60 and have a fully formed view from some examples of the lovely in church disposition, aka. marketing and the many tragedies of church-character-marketing as it reflects the gospel. It can't be 'good news' if it is from deficient and lackluster effort on the disciple bringing the news.

Posted on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 @ 5:02 PM CST


I just found your site tonight (after reviewing the 'Starbucks' video, which was awesome by the way) and I am blessed to have found you.

I so look forward to digging deeper into your site and hearing your perspective on church/ministry marketing.

When will the church tire of hamburgers and cars and clothing being "marketed" better than the best message in the world - the message of Jesus Christ?

Keep up the good work, Richard! It's needed.

Posted on Mon, Aug 15, 2011 @ 12:12 AM CST

Craig Olson

"I too found the blog as a result of watching the very funny and entertaining video on Youtube. I have served the church for over 40 years as a Sunday School teacher, summer camp worker, and missionary. But I recently left the church in utter disgust over their callous indifference for the pain and suffering I endured. My son was molested by a fellow missionary who sexually abused five missionary children. His mission board denied the incident until I was able to turn up three other victims via a web blog. They still refused to reimburse any of the hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost for medical and boarding school expenses.

I turned to my church for help, but two different pastors turned their backs on me. I sought help from my Christian family. They not only refused, but they embraced the man who was having an affair with my wife.

I wanted to know how Christian people could be so indifferent to the biblical commands to love one another and bear one another's burdens. So I began a serious study of church history relating it to contemporaneous Christian lifestyles. I was stunned to learn that the persecuted church of the first three centuries of church history became the persecuting church as they gained the official imprimatur of the Roman Emperor Theodosius in the fourth century. Why? Because they moved out of their small house fellowships into the pagan basilicas of the Roman priests when they became the official state religion. Their intimate worship services and the ministry of caring for one another on a daily basis gave way to an official priestly class that did all the ministry. Worship became passive as the priests delivered homilies and the believers absorbed all they had to say. The priests obtained special status. Their words became unassailable - tantamount to scripture itself. Just like the Pharisees of old, they added their own rules and regulations to the simple gospel.

This was the Catholic church. But the Protestant church is very much the same today. Worship is still passive. Ministry is still left to the religious professionals. The pagan basilicas have given way to massive mega churches. Pastors have attained an elite spiritual status. Challenge their words or lifestyle and you will receive a strong rebuke. Churches and pastors are accountable to no independent outside authority. If you doubt it, visit the website called stopbaptistpredators.org and read about denominational leaders who refuse to remove pedophiles from the pulpit because of 'that pesky little thing called 'autonomy'". Christians have also adopted the values of the surrounding secular society, removing all reason for outsiders to seek their fellowship.

The early church grew organically. The only 'marketing' was the public proclamation of the gospel and the personal witness of the believers. The modern church has substituted modern marketing methods for the public proclamation of the gospel simply because personal witness isn't doing the job anymore. Ninety five percent of believers have never led another person to Christ. Gospel proclamation has been confined to Christian venues - church worship services, Christian radio, Christian websites, Christian events, etc. But these all appeal primarily to a Christian clientele.

The Hartford Seminary study on the mega church, the best marketers in the church business, show that they draw primarily members of smaller churches, not non-Christians. In fact, despite the growth of the mega church, the Christian church is losing members at the rate of 13% per year. According to another study done by George Barna, many of these are young people - the future of the church. For the church to grow organically again it needs to be revitalized. There hasn't been a national revival in this country since the Great Revival in the Civil War. We desperately need another. Even more than we need professional marketing."

Posted on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 @ 12:50 PM CST

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