Most people in ministry like the word “communications;” some get queasy around the word “marketing.” If communications refers to the philosophy and practice of informing current constituents, then I see marketing as a subset of communications that seeks to inform and engage new constituents or to move current constituents to another level of commitment. Expanding organizations necessarily have a focused, intentional strategy to get the word out. If we are really doing the work of God – that which reconciles a lost world to Himself – we’re compelled to clearly broadcast the part we play so that others may engage.
The Bible on Marketing
Two scriptural texts readily come to mind:
You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:14-16)
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
Hide it Under a Bushel?
When I was a pastor, I remember hearing one church growth leader say that failure to advertise (or market) was a very selfish and arrogant way to do ministry – it meant that we were harmfully keeping our light under the bushel. The ministry of starting new churches is so critical that we are compelled to tell others of opportunities in which they can engage. Again, my fear is that we can forget that the eternal destiny of people is at hand. Whatever role we are called to in spreading the good news of Jesus, it is a requirement that we be casting seed.
About the Author
Dr. Tom Nebel is a Senior Associate with GiANT Worldwide, which develops leaders worth following, who build leaders worth following, and lead organizations everyone wants to work for. He specializes in creating healthy organizational culture comprised of leaders who are secure, humble, and confident. Formerly Tom served as the national and international leader for a Christian denomination, where he participated in the start-up of nearly 800 churches worldwide. He is the author of six books on the subject of leadership and new church planting. He may be reached through his website, www.tompnebel.com,or on Instagram at @TomPNebel.