Friday, August 26, 2005
Marketing and Faith: Do they Mix?
I have graciously been given this book by the author. Part of my way thanking him for the book is by reviewing parts of the book on this blog.
One of the interesting comments in the book so far was his discussion of marketing and faith. He was talking about how people who market aren't trying to manipulate people when they try and sell them something. In truth, "Marketing is about confirming choices and providing options."
A lot of people who are in churches are big on church marketing. So they talk about making the church more visible or attractive. Much of evangelistic and church growth strategy is based on marketing your church well, according to many of the experts, so that people will want to come and attend your church. The sad thing is, if this person is correct, when we market our churches we are preaching to the choir of the committed. Thus, most of our preaching in our churches is about pastors comforting people with truths they already agree with. And thus most of our churches are about confirmation of previously held beliefs instead of spiritual transformation. How sad!
If we are about marketing our church we are not at all about reaching newcomers, but about building loyalty from our base and stealing customers from our competitors. So then, true church growth is much harder than simply marketing.
It also means that preaching and church worship are effective at recruiting the interested, but that we cannot depend on these central parts of the life of our church to evangelize anyone but those who are already pretty close to commiting their lives to Christ anyway.