Church Marketing Rocks

September 30, 2008 by

I pointed out something on Twitter recently, and I never could really put my finger on what aggravated me so much. And today I heard a radio ad for SportsCenter where a God-like voice spoke something to the effect of, “It’s all the latest breaking sports news. You need to tune in to SportsCenter from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.”

Hmm. I asked myself what I was going to be doing tonight. And I realized, “I need to be at community group tonight.” Why is this voice telling me what I need to be doing? And shouldn’t it be ashamed that it’s wrong?

Then I realized the lesson from my earlier observation of Best Buy’s “You, Happier” campaign: These marketers are liars. They’re telling us a thousand little lies every day so we will buy their crap. This is why marketing sucks, and this is why people think church marketing sucks.

But it just ain’t so. We’re the marketers who don’t have to pander worthless junk. We’re the ones who get to market the truth, and how great is that? Church marketing is not only unoffensive, it’s incredible. It’s a privilege that in a world full of broken marketing and blatant lies, we get to sell the truth. A church marketer–what a great thing to be.

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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7 Responses to “Church Marketing Rocks”

  • Brian
    September 30, 2008

    Joshua – awesome post! yours was the first thing that i read this morning and it gave me a bigger jolt than my morning coffee ever could. i appreciate you sharing your observation and our opportunity as church marketers! here’s to marketing a message of truth…


  • Ted
    September 30, 2008

    Marketing is power.
    There’s a church here in Houston that is putting up 25-story tall crosses, all over the Houston area. They haven’t even made ONE yet, and already everybody in Houston is talking about this one church. Attendance is now WAY up, and donations are coming in for the cross building project. How did they get all this free publicity? They started TALKING ABOUT IT outside of their church, reported it to the community, sent out a press release to the media, filed all the building code paperwork, etc. and got the local government in an uproar — they don’t like the idea of a church ‘marking’ the city with crosses. Other churches are crying foul, claiming the money shouldn’t be spent on these things.
    Even if not one cross is built, this church has marketed themselves to MILLIONS here, without spending a DIME!
    That’s power. That’s marketing.


  • Keli
    October 1, 2008

    It’s funny you say that you preach and market the truth when there are millions of people out there that would disagree with you. Same as you disagreeing with mainstream marketing for products that sell lies (according to you because you believe so). I agree with you that most marketing is shameful(but this is my belief)even though I am also in the industry. A hummer won’t make me really feel free, and best buy won’t make me feel happy. Either way, just because you believe something doesn’t make it the truth for everyone. This goes along with individuals having different beliefs. Anyone can say their’s is the correct one. But if everyone is saying that, then everyone is wrong and no one is right, and none of this matters.
    You can’t say all marketers outside of church marketing are liars. I could turn around and say you’re the liar, spreading your lies (even though you believe them, but because I don’t, then I can call you a liar)
    All marketers are trying to sell a product, idea, service, or belief. In order to sell it, you gotta be able to feel it and believe it to some extent. You are among those marketers, so you shouldn’t try to separate yourself.
    But if no one had opinions or beliefs or ideas then we wouldn’t have a reason to blog, write, and disagree.
    Keep it up.


  • Joshua Cody
    October 1, 2008

    Keli, great observations. This was something I wrestled with some in writing this post.
    Not all marketers are liars. Some do truly and honestly believe in their product. But I think when Best Buy claims that it alone can make you happier, whoever knew that also knew it wasn’t true.
    The pulse I get from marketing is that it’s akin to being a hitman. You don’t ask questions, you just do what you’re told, and you do it well.
    At the very least, we are in the few who truly believe our product will change the world. Certainly not all or most believe that.
    And whether I’m a liar wasn’t really the point of my post. Maybe I am. But I surely don’t think so, and it feels great to go to sleep at night knowing that.


  • DaRonn
    October 1, 2008

    Good observation about the difference between church marketing and secular marketing. I do not have such a problem with secular marketing because it often helps provide products that we purchase on a regular basis. But would hate to see the same practices carried over in church marketing.


  • Rich G.
    October 2, 2008

    Marketing when done right is a great thing. I’m all for it. I’ve found some of my favorite products that way. But when it goes wrong, as I think it does with Best Buy’s newest motto, it’s just wrong.
    I guess I never thought of Church Marketing as marketing but I suppose it is isn’t it? I’ve been lucky I imagine I haven’t run into any bad instances of it that I can think off off the top of my head.
    On the one hand I’d like to think that was because Church’s are so much more responsible… I think it more likely that I don’t change/try out new churches as often as I change/try soda. :)


  • Kirk
    October 4, 2008

    Two thoughts for the price of one:
    First, your post reminded me of Casting Crowns’ tune “Voice of Truth”.
    Second, we would all be well advised to remember that ultimately we are not being called to Church marketing as an end unto itself, but to the Way, the Truth and the Life that lays both beyond and hopefully within it.



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