The site to frustrate, educate and motivate the church to communicate, with uncompromising clarity, the truth of Jesus Christ

Lessons In Not Sucking

October 30, 2007 by

This week begins a little series I’m doing that I’ve titled “Lessons In Not Sucking.” Much of the content has culminated and been cultivated over the years here at Church Marketing Sucks and through the larger work with the Center for Church Communication. When I spoke at the National New Church Conference this past April, I presented a lot of this stuff then. Here are some of the topics you have to look forward to (or skip if you already know it all!):

Before we dive into the first lesson (sounds like we’re about to break to hear a word from our sponsor!), I wanted to share a few Bible verses I’ve been ruminating on as it relates to church marketing in general and what Jesus might say about it.


Check out the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:13-16:

Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand–shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

And then overlay the words of Jesus from Matthew 10:5-10:

Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.”

“Marketing is personal.” We hear that a lot these days. Marketers know it is the best way to generate more consumers. After reading these passages from Matthew, I think marketing is a lot more personal than we think. Word of mouth is still the most effective form of marketing for a church (you’ve read it here before).

I think this is what Jesus is saying. Get personal. Don’t get too caught up in all the hype and hoopla of how you’re going to reach people and just reach people. Right where they’re at. And make sure when you’re reaching people that you do it boldly. Shine a spotlight on the message and make it stand out. Don’t hide it!

Be salty.
Be transparent.
Think local.
And keep it simple, so that …

My house will be full! (Luke 14:23)

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, Miró.
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5 Responses to “Lessons In Not Sucking”

  • Michael Buckingham
    October 30, 2007

    Great to see you writing Brad!
    I’m looking forward to the series. Your point of marketing being personal is something the Church needs to grab a hold of…for so long marketing is seen as cold and distant when in fact it is personal and is all about people…looking forward to reading more.


  • Kevin Peterson
    October 31, 2007

    Brad, this is what we come to this blog in search of–practical knowledge and insight on how we, as communications professionals, can spread the gospel effectively. I too am looking forward to this series of posts.


  • Mean Dean
    November 1, 2007

    Lesson Zero: Simplest way to not suck – always remember that you are not your user.
    Get past that and everything else is gravy – well except for site maintenance – but that always sucks.


  • Danny Bixby
    June 1, 2010

    All of the links in this post are dead.


  • Shannon Gilmour
    September 2, 2010

    I like the VOICE of this site! Great works, great effort, and wonderful advice that we al can use!

    Keep flowing in the direction God is leading you!
    ~Shannon



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