The Top 10 Posts of 2009

January 4, 2010 by

In our look back at 2009 we’ve covered the most hotly debated posts, the top CFCC news, the best tweets and we’re asking you for the best advice of 2009 (look for the poll results tomorrow). So today we finally come to the big one, the top 10 Church Marketing Sucks blog posts of 2009.

These top 10 posts were chosen by our staff based on editorial vigor, usefulness, non-suckiness, education, frustration and motivation. Clearly, it was a very scientific process that would be too complicated to explain here.

We give to you the Top 10 Church Marketing Sucks Blog Posts of 2009:

Honoroable Mention: Church Marketing Lab: Seeing Improvement
First and foremost we give an honorable mention to one of our roundup posts from the Church Marketing Lab. We can’t claim much credit for what happens in the lab–that work is thanks to the many people who take part, including our great crew of moderators. Earlier this year we posted a series of lab entries that showed progress. An initial piece posted asking for help and then a draft posted later with some of the advice from lab members incorporated into the design. It’s awesome to see improvement in progress.

10) I Am a Christian
We took on denominational “I Am/We are _____” marketing campaigns with the broader statement that we are, above all else, Christians. “An emphasis on our doctrinal differences only serves to divide us when we should instead find reasons to be united.”

9) Ed Young: Cussing Pastor
We called out Fellowship Church’s Ed Young when he called out pastors who swear. We weren’t condoning profanity from the pulpit, but pointing out the double standard. Ed says swearing pastors are trying to be cool. As cool as a seven day sex challenge? “One person’s cool is another person’s relevant. One person’s relevant is another person’s reality. One person’s reality is another person’s damnation.”

8) To Text or Not to Text?
Tim Schraeder is the director of communications for Park Community Church in Chicago, an incredible live blogger and an avid texter. On that last count he delivered a simple and basic guest blogger entry that lays out the pros and cons of text messaging for the church. It’s practical, full of good advice and real examples. What more could you want?


7) An Open Letter to Rick Warren About Spec Work
We weren’t sure if we wanted to touch this one, seeing as it topped the list of hotly debated posts and resulted in closing comments for the first time ever. But you couldn’t ask for a better example of frustration. And hopefully education. There is plenty of disagreement over the issue of spec work. While we hardly solved anything, hopefully better and more productive dialogue will take place. (Read more from Brad Abare about why we wrote this post.)

6) Church Copycats
It’s not a new theme for us, but church copycats are still plenty frustrating. Whether it’s a Christian version of a mainstream service, a not-so-funny Christian spoof of pop culture or just plain copyright infringement (i.e., stealing), the church copycats can stop. “Our copycat actions are both a failure to realize our full potential and an affront to those we are trying to reach.”

5) Other Churches Suck: How Not to Market Your Church
It’s easy to talk about church marketing, but the proof is in the real, live examples. As painful as they may be, the failed examples are a testament to where you shouldn’t go with your marketing. This example focused on a church that took the ‘other churches suck’ route and it bombed.

4) Tell a Story That’s True
Not even 2009 is immune from e-mail forwards. They struck back in video form, complete with all their inaccuracies and falsehoods. But they way they spread like wildfire among Christians prompted us to wonder why we can’t focus on stories that are true. We included a bunch of church videos that are true and haven’t yet earned a place on Snopes.

3) Helping People Find a Church: 25 Fair Warnings for Visitors
We imagined 25 imaginary warnings you should give to visitors of your church and had a little too much fun doing it.

2) Where Do I Begin?
It’s a question we hear all the time: I don’t have any experience in marketing or graphic design, so where do I begin? It’s simple and basic, but our own Michael Buckingham gives four suggestions for the rookie church marketer.

And the #1 post of 2009…

1) Purpose, Values, Vision & Mission
It wasn’t hilarious, it wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t controversial, but Brad Abare’s post on purpose, values, vision and mission was downright practical. He tackled these big buzz words of big picture planning and breaks them down to digestible bites. He even followed up with the purpose and values of CFCC as examples. If you’re doing high-level strategy (and you should be), you need to read this post.

Thanks for an amazing year. Here’s to hoping church marketing sucks a little less in 2010.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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3 Responses to “The Top 10 Posts of 2009”

  • bondChristian
    January 5, 2010

    Ah, yes… what we’ve all been waiting for. I love this. Thank you for posting these out. Not only do these Top 10 posts make great resources for me to look back on the past year, but they’re also wonderful to share with others who aren’t familiar with CCSucks.
    It can be a challenge introducing someone to a site and just pointing to the home page. Sometimes, especially on blogs, the home page doesn’t do the whole site justice. I think posts like this do a better job of that, so thank you.
    -Marshall Jones Jr.


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  • bondChristian
    January 5, 2010

    *CMSucks
    Sorry about that.
    -Marshall Jones Jr.


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  • Church Growth
    January 5, 2010

    Yes 2009 had some great topics. I am looking forward to how crazy the new year will be.


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