Advertising Age Magazine posted a great article on church marketing a couple of days ago and brought up the question of churches or denominations using secular marketing to bring people into the fold. The author sites the United Methodist Church’s new campaign 10Thousanddoors, their recent outreach effort to bring in people in the 18-34 age range. The tagline “Rethink Church” is aimed at people that have been burned by the Church in the past, and want a fresh relationship with religion and perhaps even Christ himself.
I think the UMC church has done a pretty decent job in the past with their TV spots, billboards, and print ads, so this new campaign is an extension of their already existing brand.
A few months back, I read Church Marketing 101 by Richard L. Reising. This is a wonderful book to read to demystify church marketing and change your perspective on marketing and the church. To many churches, and church folks, using the word “marketing” and “church” together is almost dirty, even sacrosanct. But Reising argues that everything a church (or any organization) does relates to marketing, that is, one’s perception of an entity or organization.
I think we could take some lessons from the UMC and their outreach efforts. Although their denomination is quite large and they have an enormous national ad budget, we can look at their targeted efforts to hone in on the 18-34 year old category to reach those still in pursuit of their life’s faith and realize that people from all age groups and walks of life are looking for meaning in this confusing world we live in.
What is your church’s target market? How is your church different than those down the street? Who can you minister to the best? These are all questions that need to be asked in order to fulfill the Great Commission to the best of your ability.