3 min read

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.

Prayer for Church Growth

Prayer for Church Growth

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.

  1. Sermons that teach more about the scriptures. (Depends on your place of worship)
  2. Sermons that help listeners deal better with daily life. (Help me learn how to live!)
  3. Spiritual programs geared toward children and teenagers. (My kids are out of control.)
  4. Lots of community outreach and volunteer opportunities. (I need something to do to make me feel good abt myself)
  5. Dynamic religious leaders who are interesting and inspiring. (I need something to get me going for the coming work week)
  6. Social activities that allow you to get to know people in your community. (Looking for friends, or more … a date, a spouse!)
  7. 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?