The Dirty “M” Word. Evangelism vs Marketing
“Any religion that believes in evangelism at its core believes in marketing,” notes the Rev. Dan Webster, spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Utah (Desert Morning News 2004). No, Marketing is not, and should not be considered a dirty word. In fact, it has the potential to be one of the most powerful tools for evangelism your church could ever use. We just need to revise the way we think about marketing
Many religious organizations, especially churches in particular, believe that marketing is a dirty word and thus, should be avoided. The mere suggestion that a church should engage in something as business-oriented as marketing, reeks of pride, self-promotion and other negative worldly connotations.
However, I believe that marketing means vastly different things when applied to a church vs a secular business. Marketing in a business is usually geared towards creating revenue and driving a profit. This version of marketing is one closely associated with Advertising, another word that many churches shy away from.
In turn, when used effectively, marketing for churches is simply another tool used to bring people to God. Marketing in this manner, could be closely interchanged with words like Evangelism rather than Advertising. In fact, these words go hand-in-hand a lot of times. Poor evangelism is a main reason that many churches are not currently growing, but if used correctly, evangelism when partnered with marketing, can be the main driver for church growth.
Perhaps you share the belief that the church should not be actively marketing themselves. If, by saying this, you are stating that you believe the church should not engage in using deceptive or dishonest techniques and should not trick people into filling a seat in the church – I agree with you. Yes, the church should not use poor marketing practices.
Marketing gets the bad rep because of these lousy advertising practices outlined above. The concept of marketing is not the problem. It is the execution of the idea. This word was tainted early on by over-eager sales people, pushy telemarketers and poor marketing tactics.
It is the same for Televangelism.This has a bad reputation because of the people who have abused their position and through that, have essentially bruised the word. The concept is wonderful, and can work if used by someone who knows what they are doing – just look at Billy Graham.
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