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Underpromise and Overdeliver

January 5, 2008 by

Seth Godin, one of our favorite marketing gurus, had some good advice recently. Underpromise and overdeliver.

This is a little different but particularly pertinent for the church. We can’t overpromise. We have life change, world change and miracles to offer. But sometimes we self-promote rather than message promote.

When we promise big and huge and spectacular and over-the-top events, but we underdeliver, the message suffers. So when it comes to your church, underpromise and overdeliver, but when it comes to your message, remember: no promise is too big.

Post By:

Joshua Cody


Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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3 Responses to “Underpromise and Overdeliver”

  • David
    January 5, 2008

    Thanks for the encouragement. We’re beginning a series tomorrow morning that can prove to be life-changing. Even though I felt like God has put this series on my heart and has even started to work in our church as we prepare for it, I have to admit that I am a little hesitant as I promote it- will God come through? Will the promises I made about this series of messages only let people down?
    I appreciate your encouragement- “when it comes to your message, remember: no promise is too big.”


  • Michael Buckingham
    January 5, 2008

    Funny story about Seth’s post…before this post on overdelivering he posted a note about a webcast that is coming up. I jumped over to the site, on24 I think, to sign up and they had a note about a nice little bonus for signing up, a discount on Seth’s new book.
    Guess what, it’s not a discount it’s the usual Amazon price. Not very expensive, but certainly didn’t live up to the promise.
    The take away here is that I’m sure it wasn’t Seth’s fault or doing. He simply gave someone the task and they added the little tidbit.
    In the church we are often giving others instructions to carry out, be sure they understand the principles and not ‘adding’ to the event or executing the orders in a way that doesn’t tell the same story as you are trying to tell.


  • Terrace Crawford
    January 6, 2008

    I couldn’t agree more!
    //TC//



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