Most people in ministry like the word “communications;” some get queasy around the word marketing.” If communications refers to the philosophy and practice of informing current constituents, then I see marketing as a subset of communications that seeks to inform and engage new constituents or to move current constituents to another level of commitment. Expanding organizations necessarily have a focused, intentional strategy to get the word out. If we are really doing the work of God – that which reconciles a lost world to Himself – we’re compelled to clearly broadcast the part we play so that others may engage.
The Bible on Marketing
Two scriptural texts readily come to mind:
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16)
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
Hide it Under a Bushel?
When I was a pastor, I remember hearing one church growth leader say that failure to advertise (or market) was a very selfish and arrogant way to do ministry – it meant that we were harmfully keeping our light under the bushel. The ministry of starting new churches is so critical that we are compelled to tell others of opportunities in which they can engage. Again, my fear is that we can forget that the eternal destiny of people is at hand. Whatever role we are called to in spreading the good news of Jesus, it is a requirement that we be casting seed.
What are your strategies for getting the word out about your ministry? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
The winner of the autographed copy of Leading church Multiplication is Luke Stoltzfoos. We’ll contact you soon soon with details about claiming your prize.
Part 2: Communications Strategy
Part 3: Practical Tips