An interesting discussion popped up on Facebook the other day that I wasn’t expecting when I wrote the original tweet. ?It read:
Need to write a presentation on church marketing for a Thursday mtg. Does church marketing sucks cut it?
Little did I know that it would spark a discussion about churches and their market ideas. ?There is some speculation about wether or not churches should actually do “marketing.” ?One of my best friends mentioned something about if a church does marketing doesn’t it need to pay taxes? ?Also, the thought that churches actively market themselves leaves a bad taste in some parishioners mouths.
As a person who gets paid for church communications I am totally on the other side of the fence.
First let’s discuss the taxes issue. ?I’m not sure what Jake had in mind, but non-profits are allowed to market themselves. ?Libraries do it. ?Charities do it. ?Educational establishments do it. ?Why no churches? ?All of these organizations are 501(c)(3)s. ?The definition of a tax exempt corporation does not mean it cannot market.
As far as churches marketing… why not? ?If you are telling a friend about your church aren’t you marketing? ?Isn’t a church supposed to spread the word of God? ?I could be wrong. ?It could be a yay God social club, but in my experience it is a way for parishioners to come together to share the love of God and to “go and tell.”
As church communicators, or marketers, our job is to figure out a way to communicate the mission of the church in a way that is inviting. ?So why does church marketing suck? ?Because most churches portray themselves to the public as a yay God social club. ?Churches fail to see that there are visitors that attend on Sunday mornings. ?If a church is using acronyms, exclusive language and a whole lot of we’s and us’es that isn’t very inviting now is it? ?Call it evangelism, outreach or marketing… it is all the same thing.
What do you think? ?What turns you off about church or what makes you love the church you go to? ?We aren’t talking about just Lutherans here. ?I would love to hear from all denominations.