A Few Good Pastors

March 19, 2005 by

Earlier this year, I got an email from Pastor Robin Bailey, a Church Marketing Sucks participator and big fan of churches that get communication and marketing right. (You may remember Robin from an earlier entry.) The email I received was an invitation to dinner as he and a handful of other pastors from Canada were coming to Los Angeles (where I live) on assignment.

Because it is hard for me to turn down a free meal–I agreed–and met up with them last night in downtown LA.

I was blown away by the authenticity of these pastors, and their insights and inspiration were equally encouraging. I really love hanging with pastors that understand what it means to live out their vocation on the other side of a pulpit. These guys get it.

Say hello to Albert Chu (the Asian thinker who within two weeks of attending his church, you’ll be invited to his house for dinner with him and his wife), Robin Bailey (the church plant in progress who has his purpose set on one of the fastest growing communities in their region), John Van Sloten (the resident funny man who has the ugliest web site–says it’s being re-designed–and reports that he did a mailer of 5,000 to his community which resulted in 120 people showing up to their opening service seven years ago), and Phil Reinders (the quieter conservative you know has ten times more in his head than he’s letting you in on). These four were part of a group of seven, here in Los Angeles on a grant from the Lily Foundation.


They were here for six days presenting an interesting approach to ministry to some great thinking minds here in town. Their premise is simple: God speaks through the Bible and God speaks through creation. We’ve been preaching the first book, but for the most part, we’re missing the latter. Instead of using movies, television, music, and other media to be supplements to our preaching, these pastors suggest God is speaking through these mediums (creation). In turn, we should exegete truths in light of the Bible so as to understand the Truth. This is not using film clips and sound bytes to enhance a sermon. It is using them to pursue Truth.

While I’m not going to get into the arguments for or against this approach (to keep the purpose of this blog intact), I am encouraged by their study. I anticipate we’ll be seeing more of these guys and hearing their thoughts as they develop. I understand they may even be working on plans for a book.

A few takeaways (and good reminders) from our conversation last night as it relates to church marketing:

  • Pastors (who can write) should be using blogs to build a relationship with their congregation.
  • Web sites are important to churches so that people can get to know and stay in the know.
  • Consistent and repetitive marketing is better than one-time splashes.
  • More time should be spent on tracking and finding what works than assuming what does or doesn’t work.
  • Getting local media/press coverage (positive and not always positive) can bring legitimacy and awareness to current and potential church attenders.
  • Larger crowds beget larger crowds. Whether you start a church or a ministry in the church, build in come critical mass from the beginning so that more will get on board and return next time.

If you’re ever near these guys’ church, look them up. Their approach is genuine and their personalities are authentic.

Thanks for the invite Robin. You’ve got some great men of God in your corner!

Post By:

Brad Abare


Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it. He and his wife Jamaica live in Los Angeles with their daughter, MirĂ³.
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9 Responses to “A Few Good Pastors”

  • Pastor Thomson
    May 19, 2005

    Praise the Lord
    We appreciate your points. But in India, it is not suitable we think. Here notmuch people are using E-Mail. And if pastors are involved themselves in business, people dont believe them.
    I need clarifiction. I would like to join with u at the earliest. Please tell me the procedure. ]
    Your brother in Christ, Pr. Thomson.


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063


  • AYODELE AYOOLA
    March 14, 2008

    Dear beloved one,
    I am contacting you from a far region, and i don’t want you to ignore me because i am not in the United States. My name is Ayo a christian who worship with the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) province 16 Area 40 in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a young christian who wish to grow in faith. I have used to believe in God and want to continue believing that he is Almighty. Also am seeking the kingdom of God.
    I am writing you to express the situation and condition about my christian and academic life. But before i continue i will like to tell you more about myself. I am 24years old, born in decemeber 1983. I am currently in the University. I have an elderly sister and a younger brother. a mother who is now a Widow. I lost my Dad in 1998 and since then things has really changed. That was when the episode began.
    I am a christian who always want to grow spiritually, physically, academically, and in major ramifications. But i had set back in these journey of life. As i encounter several problems. One of the greatest problem i have now is about my schooling at the university level. It is very much at stake now because i have been unable to make up with levies. yet i attend church and still trust him that he is still God and he’ll always be God. sometimes i feel unhappy about the situation because i know i am a christian and i never need to tell a lie before i earn some money to cater for myself. Though my mother caters for my elder and younger one for now due to the nature of her Job. And also for the fact that i promised myself not to backslide with fraudulent activities in order to survive.
    I need some help spiritually and materially with my situation. I need to continue my university school life, also i want to continue being a devoted christian. This is the more reason why i have decided to contact you this way as a young boy who is willing to have a parental care. I want you to be like a guidian to me in one way or the other. I need to shapen my life and that i may truely exist with the purpose of God for my life.
    Please once again i solicit for your kind assistance… as a christian / foster parent.
    Yours In Chirst
    Ayoola Ayodele
    234-7027699063



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