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Learn more about my journey in church and marketing.
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BEYOND RELEVANCE MUSINGS ON CHURCH, STRATEGY, AND CULTURE

BY RICHARD REISING

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Feb 09

What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Part 3: Marketing is about People

Feb 09
Feb 09

Marketing is about people. It is about learning what makes people tick and then shaping your communication to them in such a way that you create a bridge to their hearts. Paul understood this. He told us, “To the Jew, I will become as a Jew…” He went on to say that he would become all things to all men that he might win them. Paul was a master marketer. He studied people, reflecting back to them their values in such things as idol worship, poetry and philosophy—all with a single pursuit of winning them for Christ.  Paul knew what made people tick. He used those things to lead them to Christ.

In the corporate world, they know this. MTV has declared that the winner of the next generation is “the one who speaks their language the best”.  They spend 20% of their budget learning the teen language and connecting with it. They are successful too often. How much of your budget is committed to understanding people? Hanging with them? Learning their hopes and needs? Do you know what makes them tick?

Jesus hung with sinners. The disciples left their comfort zone for a world of non-believers—pursuing them to believe. In the average church today, as leaders, we hardly leave the comfort of our cohorts—those who share our heart for Christ. Yet we have a marketing (advertising) mandate don’t we? To go and preach (publish and promote) the Gospel. To whom? To those who are lost.

I am an advocate for the lost. I once was lost. I work hard to remember what that felt like in spite of my current knowledge that I need God and His presence every minute of every day. My wife has had five strokes in the last seven years. I cannot imagine going through things like that without Him—yet most people do.  If I were lost would you reach me? Would you understand where I was and reach me where I lived? Would you make clear to me the profound simplicity of the Gospel and tell me what the next step in my walk towards Christ is?

I sat as a consultant in a service of a strong preacher, who had crafted a message so complex that I, myself, felt discouraged in my Christianity. He coupled it with a charge of those who did not like it: “If you do not like it, there’s the door.” Several visitors took him up on that. In our debrief, we asked him how he had come to know Christ. He began to weep—remembering back to his childhood, when he had been so confused by people talking to him about God, until one VBS where a gracious volunteer explained the simplicity of God’s love and He accepted Christ. He wept for how complex he had made it. The Gospel is profoundly simple. Our labor of love is to learn how to connect others with it. Our ultimate charge is to be simple enough to be understood and powerful enough to change lives.

check back for my final thoughts on this in a few days....

 

3 comments

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Dawn Bryant

Thank you. Thank you for saying it. Truth wins. Always. But truth cannot even be presented without love. Because love is most important...besides...we're all just as messed up as the next person...Jesus was compassionate. Be the hands and feet of Jesus...

Posted on Thu, Feb 11, 2010 @ 11:35 AM CST

Paula

I wish all church leaders around the world could understand this. We have molded the church in a way that it is an absolute strange environment to whomever enters. We are used to it, and even like it. But we do it for us, not for them, not for the lost. I agree, Jesus' message is so simple: Love. And that's what our visitors should feel when they enter our churches and talk with our members.
Thank you for your thoughts!!

Posted on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 @ 9:15 AM CST

Steve Garufi

This is excellent. I wish more church leaders would consider this.

Posted on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 @ 12:34 PM CST

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