Marketing in the Church

I have something on my mind and I invite you to challenge your thinking as the Holy Spirit is asking me to do as well. Don't take offense to what I am writing, but rather think deeply about what Christ really sees in 'churches' today. Just what is His perspective anyway?

If the 'church' really has Christ then why use secular tactics to bring the people in? Bring them in with secular tactics and you have to keep those secular tactics to keep them there. Just like the early denominations allowing paganism in their midst. Just look at what is now ingrained in those 'churches' today. If you only chose your spouse for what he/she could offer you or entertain you with, does that show a real genuine relationship between two people who are madly in love with each other?

So just what do we think is a secular tactic to bring people into these buildings, programs, and systems?

Promotions and programs that advertise what YOU have to offer the people. Does your 'church' advertise in the phone book with the following keywords?

Student Retreats
College classes for mingling
Married couples classes
Senior Citizen Luncheons
Children's ministries
'Christian' School
Pre-School
Free Carnival
Potluck dinners
Live Worship band
Women's ministries
Holy communion (as opposed to UNholy communion?)
Celebrate Recovery Meetings

I seriously looked through the entire 'church' section of our local phone book and NOT ONE of the 'churches' said anything about Jesus Christ, other than naming their building/denomination after Him. Of course we all assume they ALL intend to teach us about Jesus Christ right? How does a lost person decide where to go and what to believe? A lost person in search of Christ may go to every 'church' in town and hear a lot of people teach a variety of different things, mostly what their denomination tells them to preach about. Every one of those 'churches' preachers thinks HE has THE right doctrine. What a confusing place to be!

So just what is a lost person supposed to look for in finding a genuine fellowship of believers who can give them just what they need?
Mark 16:17-18, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
Does this mean we can be snake handlers and drink poison in fellowship to prove we follow Christ? Absolutely not. Who are WE to prove God exists and protects? We are fallible humans who make mistakes, but genuine believers who walk in the Spirit will be seen with the Holy Spirit naturally manifesting Himself through their lives.

I think most of us know genuine believers when we spend time with them. We can see their heart for others a mile away. (So to speak.) Their faith in Christ and love toward Him is obvious to those around them. They don't brag about what 'they' have to offer the people. These genuine believers simply love Christ and it is shown by their genuine love for others. I don't mean that you don't need to let others know that you have the talent to mow grass and trim hedges, or that you have a nack with fixing up old engines. When it comes to business, by all means let the community know you're available and are talented in an area that will benefit them. I believe in marketing what you have to offer as far as a business, but as a believer all we need to do is introduce them to our Saviour and we do that best by showing that, naturally, in our every day lives.

Did Jesus tell Ananias to host a large free carnival in order to draw in the Romans to understand the scriptures? Did Lydia ever promote to the community that her baptism robes were the most comfortable in the water? Did David pass the offering plate to the locals when he played the harp to minister to their souls?

Did Joseph of Arimethea advertise to sell his anointed oils to the congregation bragging to be the one who wrapped the body of Jesus? Did Mary and Martha pass out fliers to invite people to lunch the day Jesus was coming? And they can only stay for dinner if they promise to enter the room where Jesus sat.

Did Priscilla and Aquila promise candy to the neighborhood children if they came to play at their house every week? Did Peter threaten others with a curse if they didn't give all they had at his feet? Did Paul tell the community that if they want to preach Christ they must first get a degree from him (and pay him for it) and wear a suit? Did John tell the elect woman (in 2nd John) to put her children in the local 'Christian' school in order to save them from the world's philosophies, then demand that she sell her belongings in order to pay him to teach them?

Maybe this seems a bit blunt to someone who attends such a facility, but let God challenge you. You don't need to reply to this article, but I do ask that you take some time to re-evaluate just what it is that these facilities are doing to God's people and the lost who are seeking the Truth, the Way, and the Life.

Does Jesus need to draw the people in with secular tactics? Did he use manipulation to keep their attention? Did he get a degree in homiletics? By definition: Homiletics is the study of the composition and delivery of a sermon or other religious discourse; to assemble together), in theology the application of the general principles of rhetoric to the specific department of public preaching. Rhetoric is one of the arts of using language as a means to entertain or persuade.

Is this what Peter had to study in order to preach the truth to the people when 5,000 chose Christ? As I recall some of the disciples were not well versed in grammar or public speaking, they were fishermen. The communities marveled as they spoke with authority. Their accreditation came from Christ our Lord, not a seminary that teaches public speaking tactics to keep the attention of the crowd. When Paul spoke to King Agrippa, he simply told him how our Lord met him on the road to Damascus and revealed Himself in him. King Agrippa stated, "Paul thou almost persuadest me to become a Christian."

The early Christians like the woman at the well, the fisherman in Galilee, a small boy with a sack lunch, and a harlot with an alabaster box all ministered to our Lord and the people by simply responding naturally to the love of Christ that was already within their bosom. The people saw the difference in the lives of the people and they were drawn to them, and what they found was people who showed them Christ. Nothing fancy, no fliers, carnivals, potlucks, or camping trips. Just real people who love Christ and allow Him to shine throughout their lives each and every day. No manipulation, no secular tactics, just Jesus.

Is Christ showing His genuine love, to others, through you? Are you personally experiencing His genuine love each day of your life?

Let's go back to the original question: So just what do we think is a secular tactic to bring people into these buildings, programs, and systems?

I think the answer is that the 'culture of Christianity' is simply doing its best to draw people into their buildings, programs, and systems.

If you take away the buildings, programs, and systems, what is left? Will the people stay? Why or why not?





Sisterlisa is a homeschooling mom of four children and married to a ministry leader of a Rescue mission. She is the owner of Growing in Grace Magazine and AGMinistries.






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{ LivingforGod } at: August 25, 2009 at 1:00 AM said...

Great post, Lisa!

Leonard Ravenhill said, "I'm embarrassed to be part of the Church today because I believe it's an embarrassment to a holy God. Most of our joy is clapping our hands and having a good time and then afterwards we talk all the nonsense of the world. We're overboard on laughter and happiness. There's an old saying in the world, "Laugh and the world laughs with you." I change it and say, "Laugh and the Church laughs with you, but weep and you weep alone." Because there isn't enough real joy in the house of God, we need entertainment. Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy. Because there isn't enough power in the house of God, people are always looking for something to take its place. We point the finger at the world, but we need to turn to the Church and say we'd better all get sackcloth and ashes and humble ourselves and say "Almighty God!" When I see the Church in the New Testament, they didn't have stately buildings or paid evangelists or a lot of money. (They couldn't get on television and beg!) But I'll tell you what they did - they turned the world upside-down!"

I think the majority of churches nowadays misuses their resources. They spend way too much on keeping people entertained, latest technological gadgets, unnecessary programs, and on advertising/marketing. Instead, they could have (should have) used that money to reach the unreached with the Gospel by supporting native missionaries and distributing the Bibles and Gospel tracts, help the poor and needy, feed the homeless, care for the orphans and widows, etc.

We, the Church/the Body of Christ, need to live our lives to reflect Christ; by doing so...people will be drawn to Him. "Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you." ~Anonymous That's the best marketing strategy for sure :).

{ LivingforGod } at: August 25, 2009 at 1:02 AM said...

Great post, Lisa!

Leonard Ravenhill said, "I'm embarrassed to be part of the Church today because I believe it's an embarrassment to a holy God. Most of our joy is clapping our hands and having a good time and then afterwards we talk all the nonsense of the world. We're overboard on laughter and happiness. There's an old saying in the world, "Laugh and the world laughs with you." I change it and say, "Laugh and the Church laughs with you, but weep and you weep alone." Because there isn't enough real joy in the house of God, we need entertainment. Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy. Because there isn't enough power in the house of God, people are always looking for something to take its place. We point the finger at the world, but we need to turn to the Church and say we'd better all get sackcloth and ashes and humble ourselves and say "Almighty God!" When I see the Church in the New Testament, they didn't have stately buildings or paid evangelists or a lot of money. (They couldn't get on television and beg!) But I'll tell you what they did - they turned the world upside-down!"

I think the majority of churches nowadays misuses their resources. They spend way too much on keeping people entertained, latest technological gadgets, unnecessary programs, and on advertising/marketing. Instead, they could have (should have) used that money to reach the unreached with the Gospel by supporting native missionaries and distributing the Bibles and Gospel tracts, help the poor and needy, feed the homeless, care for the orphans and widows, etc.

We, the Church/the Body of Christ, need to live our lives to reflect Christ; by doing so...people will be drawn to Him. "Live in such a way that those who know you but don't know God, will come to know God because they know you." ~Anonymous That's the best marketing strategy for sure :).

{ revtrev } at: August 27, 2009 at 7:33 PM said...

Great thoughts. We're looking to start a Saturday service that will one day be a church plant. Are marketing is going to be showing Christ in love and power. If we're lacking either, I don't have time for another club. While I think it's alright to "cast your net where the fish are", we're simply on the look out for lives that need Jesus.

faithwon at: September 10, 2009 at 3:52 PM said...

Great post!

I have long had a problem with bake sales, cd and t-shirt sales, all at tables you must walk by to get to the sanctuary. How many people who don't have money feel obligated to purchase, and how many hungry people must walk by food that's not free? It has always reminded me of Jesus turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple.

My husband and I attended a motorcycle gathering of Christian riders in a different city. The gathering was held at a church.
As we walked into this church, I felt like I was in Barnes and Nobles. There was a coffee bar with seating, and you could purchase coffee, pens, books, cd's, toys for your children, bags, backpacks, etc.

Marketing has become way too rampant in the church today.

Jesus and His message are more than sufficient!

God bless!

{ luvinjesus } at: October 15, 2009 at 9:40 PM said...

In so few words, Dear Sis, you have put it so that the hammer strikes the nail on the head. What Stephen preached before he was stoned is a similar message. (don't be surprised if many take up 'stones' to throw at you!) Yet, Saul of Tarsus was there for Stephen's admonition, and look how that changed his life! And look at how our lives have been transformed by Paul's life! Our Lord will change the circumstances of the addicts who need 'church' like a drug, (it is an idol which prevents them from growing in the Truth)so He brings many disasters.
I keep praising the Lord for the disasters because He raises His hand to such disobedient children. The Bride will wash her dress and the Bride Groom will have a perfect bride to return to soon. See you then! (or before should the Lord allow!) :) Trish

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