A Church Marketing Podcast

November 13, 2008 by

If you’re the podcasting type, you might want to check out a new podcast that’s starting off by hitting on church marketing.

It’s essentially just two friends who don’t agree on whether church marketing is theologically appropriate, and they discuss the issue. One interesting note is that both are involved with youth ministry, and so they look at an aspect of marketing that we haven’t covered much–marketing to young people. Currently, they only have 20 minutes to listen to, and there is more to come later. Your mind won’t be blown by the first podcast, but much of it is introduction (with a sprinkle of love for your favorite blog about church marketing that sucks).

So if you’re looking to fill up a 20-minute gap or are just hungry for a deeper discussion of church marketing and you don’t feel like podcasts are dead, this conversation could be a great resource for you.

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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9 Responses to “A Church Marketing Podcast”

  • Dave Jones
    November 13, 2008

    This was absolutely painful!I did listen to all of it.
    Joshua I am not sure why these guys impressed you, I simply don’t get it. I heard nothing about marketing the church! I am all for two guys getting together to talk about Jesus, but don’t irritate me with the pen clicking and dog barking in the back ground.
    I hate to even comment on this, but what in the world is the point of two guys who have poor self images talking about marketing. One guy gives a story about how he was forced to go talk about his event with flyers (which btw is not marketing). He talks to people in town doesn’t believe in his product!! Hello… You don’t believe in your product! then what are doing in the ministry. Even though he didn’t want to do it they had a great turn out. LOL.
    Striving for excellence with flashy marketing is not marketing…Bribery is not marketing. “I would rather focus on communication rather than marketing” good because you don’t know what marketing is…thank you!
    There was an early sign of knowledge but there was zero substance behind it. “Marketing is not the way in which the Kingdom grows or ushers in the Kingdom.
    Ok so what is the point??
    So, Joshua what is the point. Here are two guys just out of college who are talking to each other at their kitchen table who have no knowledge or understanding of their topic. Isn’t this what Church Marketing Sucks is trying to protect itself against.
    Help me out here, please tell me the point behind this. After hearing this I hope podcasts are dead.


  • Joshua Cody
    November 14, 2008

    Dave, I might have been a little strong in my description of it as a “great resource.”
    You’re not on the level of most of the readers of this blog. You’re a church marketing professional, and there are some people who aren’t even convinced that church marketing is legitimate that come to this blog.
    This series shows that people just like them can discuss church marketing and the value of it, and hopefully it will encourage them to have the same conversations as these young guys are having surrounding church marketing.
    Church Marketing Sucks wants conversations like this to happen more often, so that’s the point of this.
    Thanks for dialoguing with us on this.


  • Brit Windel
    November 14, 2008

    thanks dave, can i have my balls back :-)
    sorry the podcast isn’t top notch. we are working towards it and yes it will be slightly different than most.
    it was an 1.19.00hr long podcast and decided to break it up so not to overwhelm listeners.
    and yes we are not market minded people by any means. thus why we ask why some churches try marketing.
    listen to the full thing, then rip us if you see the need later.
    our hope for what we are doing is to get ministries to think differently about how we ‘communicate’ the message of Christ. along the same lines of Church Marketing Sucks… by semantics alone we think that marketing has no place in missional practices of the Church… but anyways my kitchen tables needs some cleaning for when we get together to talk again!!!


  • Matt Cleaver
    November 15, 2008

    Dave,
    “This was absolutely painful!” I’m sorry you didn’t like the first episode of the podcast. We’ll refund you your money.
    “I did listen to all of it.” For that, I’m truly humbled. When we put this thing together, I was wondering if anyone besides my mother would have a listen. It’s important to have people who disagree with us post their thoughts so we can refine our thinking.
    “I heard nothing about marketing the church!” If you noticed, that was sort of the point. We were trying to discuss if marketing in the church is a worthwhile exercise.
    “I am all for two guys getting together to talk about Jesus, but don’t irritate me with the pen clicking and dog barking in the back ground.” I have no idea what noise Brit was making in the background, but give him a break, he’s pretty ADD. And, the only source of income for me and my wife, who is a medical student, is my youth minister salary. I wasn’t going to buy any equipment to guard against things like my dog barking (but you’ve got to admit, it’s a pretty cute bark as far as dog barking goes) until we decided if we want to do this regularly or not. We called it Episode Zero for a reason.
    “I hate to even comment on this, but what in the world is the point of two guys who have poor self images talking about marketing.” I’m not sure where we ever communicated that we have poor self images. That’s not a good thing if we did. I guess that’s something for us to work on.
    “he was forced to go talk about his event with flyers (which btw is not marketing)” Well, I was in a town of 2,300 people and had a budget of zero. I did what I could. Knocking on doors seemed to work okay.
    “Hello… You don’t believe in your product! then what are doing in the ministry.” I didn’t believe in the product because it was a one-time event that was dropped in my lap 30 days before it was to occur. It wasn’t my idea and I didn’t even much care for the idea, but it wasn’t my choice. I was given the responsibility to make it happen.
    “you don’t know what marketing is” It’s possible we’re arguing over semantics. How do you define marketing? You’ve said multiple times that [fill-in-the-blank] is not marketing and I’d like to hear your take.
    “There was an early sign of knowledge but there was zero substance behind it.” Thanks! Sorry you didn’t think there was any substance behind it. Maybe we address this more in a later podcast. I’m not sure.
    “Here are two guys just out of college who are talking to each other at their kitchen table who have no knowledge or understanding of their topic.” Hey now, I was sitting on my couch, not the kitchen table. Well, I was sitting on the couch except for the few times I got up to let barky dog in and out of the house.
    “After hearing this I hope podcasts are dead.” Awwww, come on, you know you like criticizing us. You should keep listening.
    Dave, I think you expectations for us were too high before you even clicked on our link. I’m sure that since a high-quality site like churchmarketingsucks linked to us you assumed it would be of the same quality and polished-ness. Here’s what happened the day of the podcast, and this is the absolute truth.
    Brit calls me Friday morning: “Hey, today we should try this podcast thing we’ve been thinking about.”
    Me: “Okay, what time?”
    Brit: “How about around 1:30″
    Me: “Okay, what are we going to talk about.”
    Brit: “I was thinking we could talk about church marketing.”
    Me: “That works.”
    Brit: “How will we record and post this and all that?”
    Me: “I’ll figure it out between now and 1:30.”
    It wasn’t meant to be a polished show (which we mentioned at the beginning), it really was meant to be two guys sitting around a coffee table/couch.
    We’re thankful for you listening and would like to hear more of your thoughts, especially about what marketing really is.


  • Matt Cleaver
    November 15, 2008

    Joshua, thanks for the link.


  • Matt Cleaver
    November 15, 2008

    Oh and Dave, the tag line of this website is “The blog to frustrate…”
    Looks like this post accomplished that :)


  • Dave Jones
    November 16, 2008

    Matt and Brit,
    Frustrate you did.. but you made me laugh even more.
    Guys your heart for the ministry is awesome, I appreciate your sense of humor, and willingness to put yourself on the line. I don’t know you but I appreciate that about your personalities.
    I am not going to beat you up anymore on marketing the Church, Your hearts are right, and you want to build the Kingdom of God, and I appreciate that… we are few and far between anymore.
    There are however several key ingredients to a successful marketing campaign.
    Marketing is not anything of what you tried to explain, I think I made my point on that.
    Let me give you a few nuggets since Matt asked. Remember unasked for advice is considered criticism.
    Here you go,
    There are over 100 million people in America that place no value on church.
    They don’t see it as an option, because it has no value in their lives.
    It is not a viable solution to their problems, nor do they see it as an avenue to success in their lives.
    If they did, a lot more people would attend church.
    I believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; but as an American living in America I/we are bombarded with secular media, marketing, and advertising. Nearly 1,700 images hit me (and you) daily. Thousands of companies want our buying power—from basic commodities to a new car. It’s amazing! So the church has become an inconspicuous option? What are Christians supposed to do? Luke 14:23 says:
    “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” KJV
    Is this scripture comparable to the word marketing? Or is marketing a twentieth century word for evangelism? I don’t know; but I do know that if we don’t get in the game we will never be a player. I do know evangelism is the process of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. We have the most important, most excellent message of good news in history, and it is possible for us to come out of obscurity and deliver it with excellence.
    According to Mark 16:15-16: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” The Bible doesn’t say extensively how we should preach it or communicate it, but I think it’s pretty easy to connect the dots.
    The Bible also doesn’t mention sociology, anthropology, psychology, paleontology, or economics by name but it has inspired countless volumes of commentary and insight into these academic disciplines. Could it be that marketing also developed over time from principles of communication we find in the Bible?
    People and relationships are two important aspects in the life of ministries. Getting people saved—fulfilling the Great Commission—is the most important thing. People need to come to the saving knowledge of Christ, even if it occurs because of a flyer, the internet, or a radio or television advertisement.
    People in today’s culture make instant decisions based on the quality of the product or service being distributed—by the quality of the marketing that propels them to take action. Whether people come to know Jesus by a personal invitation or a TV spot is irrelevant, as long as they come.
    In the 1960’s there were over 600 impressions a day that an average American was hit with, when I completed my book research indicated that we were up to 1700 impressions per day, experts are now predicting that by 2010 we will be upto 5,000 impression per day. (China and Japan are already there)
    Marketing the Church is a combination of knowing your target demographic, the gospel, the ministries vision, or Pastors personal vision and coming up with a prayed over spirit filled message that can touch your community.
    Once you have this consistent message, theme or brand together its time to implement it across all deliverables. Ie your website, video, bulletin, invite cards, email etc.
    Once this is finalized,now its time take this consistent message into the community, with the intent of letting the potential marketplace(or demo) know that ministry exists and are an option in the market place. The more impressions you can make over a short period of time will increase your effectiveness. the more you can isolate your target demo the the more effective your results will be, sorry shotgun approach such as handing out flyers to whomever is wasted resources and effort. I know God is our source but its wasteful, sorry.
    There are also different types of marketing campaigns. Such as Brand marketing, direct response marketing or event marketing. There are several more and each agency or marketing professional has different names for them. Also, each marketing campaign has certain variables associated with it like Flight dates, budget, Called To Action, Demo, Ethnicity, Gender, buying and spend habits, or perceived value to name a few. these variables need to be taken into consideration and analyzed before and after impressions are created.
    I have blogged about this and the difference between advertising and marketing, if you would like to know the difference, I can send this to you as well
    I would welcome the opportunity to talk to both offline about marketing if you so chose, or you can just pick up my book.


  • Matt Cleaver
    November 17, 2008

    Dave,
    I gotcha. So you make a differentiation between marketing and advertising. I think I’m starting to see what you mean about marketing being more than just advertising.
    Thanks for the comments.


  • Rusty
    November 19, 2008

    I might get ripped for saying this, but I would have to disagree with Dave’s point that the most important thing is “getting people saved” and that it doesn’t really matter how that is done. I would agree that the Great Commision is the mission of the church. I would not agree that the mission is getting people saved. The Great Commission is about making disciples and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has taught them, namely what it means to love. Getting someone saved is not the same thing as making disciples. Dave said, “People need to come to the saving knowledge of Christ, even if it occurs because of a flyer, the internet, or a radio or television advertisement.” This sounds as though the ends justifies the means which I can’t agree with. The means and motive are equally important as the end result. Now, that’s not to say that God doesn’t use all sorts of methods to draw people to himself, but some ways are more theologically appropriate than others. I recognize that I haven’t written a book on this and would no doubt lose a debate with Dave (or any other “expert” on this subject). In the end, I think Dave and I come from completely different theological perspectives which will not allow us to reconcile our beliefs.
    Just another youth minister a few years removed from college,
    Rusty



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