Real Live Preacher, the quasi-famous blogging pastor who recently published his first book, RealLivePreacher.com, ranted about church marketing recently. He complains about both churches doing marketing and businesses that market to churches. For the examples he gives, I can certainly feel his pain.
But it sounds oddly familiar, ragging on the very idea of marketing based on the examples of people who do it poorly. Wait—isn’t that what people do with Christianity all the time? Write it off thanks to a hypocrite who doesn’t practice what they preach? Or even an entire system that doesn’t seem to be doing it right?
At the end he yearns for a pure and authentic church, and I’m right there with him. He speaks of his own church as messy, and I like that image. It goes along with my favorite image of the broken church. But you know what? It’s still marketing. Who ever said marketing had to be impure and disingenuous? It’s not a bad word, marketing. It’s just executed poorly, and as often as the business world screws it up, the church screws it up even more.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done right.