Churches have to get over the sleaziness factor that is too often associated with marketing. Marketing done right can be a valuable service for the local church. Indeed, some big companies (Apple …) call their marketers – evangelists.
If a church is doing evangelism, and it really had better be, then the church ought to be doing some, er, marketing.
Marketers and Evangelists Learn from Each Other
Marketers can learn a lot from how the early church did evangelism, how Jesus did his ministry. I am actively working on an eBook that dives into how Jesus did his evangelistic ministry.
Modern day evangelists for the local church can learn a lot about how marketers are doing their jobs now, how marketers are competing for eyeballs and hearts in the 21st century.
I am particularly interested in how the local church can take advantage of the social networks and other online platforms.
However, in this post I want to answer the question of where the local church should invest the most effort to get the most bang for its marketing.
7 Reasons Why People Might Return to Place of Worship
A Gallup poll recently asked sometime, make that seldom attendees to rank which of 7 reasons might motivate them to return to their place of worship or begin to attend more often.
- Sermons that teach more about the scriptures. (Depends on your place of worship)
- Sermons that help listeners deal better with daily life. (Help me learn how to live!)
- Spiritual programs geared toward children and teenagers. (My kids are out of control.)
- Lots of community outreach and volunteer opportunities. (I need something to do to make me feel good abt myself)
- Dynamic religious leaders who are interesting and inspiring. (I need something to get me going for the coming work week)
- Social activities that allow you to get to know people in your community. (Looking for friends, or more … a date, a spouse!)
- A good choir, praise band or other spiritual music. (Wow me, please!)
Number 1 Reason Why People Might Return to Church
The number one reason … sermon content. People were 2X more likely to return to hear a good sermon than to return because the praise band was good. I did once see an incredibly good drummer. But never went back. The sermon was … non memorable.
More than 3 in 4 people are interested in sermon content that teaches them more about their Scriptures. Bible preachers – can you say expository preaching? Three in 4 would return to find application of the Bible to their lives and practical guidelines for living.
3 Questions for Preachers to Address
- What does God want us to know?
- What does God want us to do?
- How do we do what God wants?
Barely 1 in 3 people would return just to hear the praise band again. Hmm … But where is the most time spent preparing for Sundays? Preparing for the worship experience or getting the message right.
To answer the question – Where should the local church place the most effort in its marketing?
- Give the preacher more time to prepare for his/her sermon.
- Give the preacher more opportunities and experiences so that s/he can connect with folks in the seats
The local church should invest in the preacher becoming a better preacher. When that happens, visitors from the area are more likely to return.
Where does your preacher spend most of his/her time?