Marketing for Jesus



     We have all seen or heard them, the clever marketing tools of today’s church. 


The smooth announcer on the radio telling a story with a moral and then declaring that their church is the place to be. 


The television commercial showing hip, young people being cool and praising the Lord to hip music and of course the message is that this church is “the” place to be.


The billboard on the highway advertising the upcoming cool, even “controversial” new sermon series by the young pastor.  The best of course are the ones that mention sex and of course the message is that this church is different and is the place to be.


     These are just a few, and with apologies to anyone who might be involved in church marketing, they make me sick.  (OK sick might be a little harsh but I do not like them).   Does the church really need the guy with the silky smooth voice on the radio telling them about the Sunday service?  Does the church really need the cool angles and quick cuts of a TV commercial to make them seem hip and relevant to today’s culture?  Does the church really need to titillate and cause a stir with a billboard that announces to the world that Christians have sex?  (of course as Christians it should be within the confines of marriage, but that’s a discussion for another time).


      If a church has to market what they are doing, then the church is doing a poor job.


     The best marketing a church has is when its people are living their lives as God intended.  If that happens money won’t need to be wasted on TV time or radio spots and instead can be spent on ministries that reach out and touch people in need.

     Thinking about it deeper, sure a TV ad might add more people to the rolls next Sunday, but the people who show up will not stick around if the church is not living outloud for God.  If a church wants to draw and keep people in their church the church’s focus should not be on drawing and keeping people.  The church will grow when the church devotes itself wholeheartedly to the things of God.


     The Bible says that when God is lifted up that He will draw men to Him.  Sure it’s a paraphrase but it is God who does the drawing.  In Acts chapter 2 the disciples devoted themselves to God.  They prayed, studied the Word, hung out together and ate together and the Bible says that because they did that their numbers increased….they were blessed, not because of some clever marketing scheme or semi-controversial-look-at-me-I-am-hip sermon series, but because they were concerned about the things of God.


     If you notice nowhere does it say anything about cool commercials, billboards, radio ads, etc as being the reasons that people came to church?  Men are drawn to God, are drawn to church when God is the number one concern of the church.  God tells us to love Him…and to love others as we love ourselves.  He doesn’t mention commercials.  When we love God, truly love Him and try our best to do what He says, if we love the widows and orphans, if we visit the prisoners, if we take care of each, if we think of others before we think about ourselves, if we lift up God’s name, then people will (super)naturally be drawn to us.

5 thoughts on “Marketing for Jesus

  1. I must admit Church marketing seems like a desperate attempt to finance something you fear God may not bless otherwise. There is a fine line between “getting the word out” and pitching a sale. Personally, to me, marketing with “we are here and we care” seems appropriate. Marketing with “we have more flashy things and the party never ends” is over the line.

  2. I agree…..Awhile back back I read something that made a lot of sense…”Set yourself on fire, and people will gather around to watch you burn.” If we would truly get “fired” up for Jesus, we wouldn’t be able to keep people out of the church. We might as well take off the doors because they would never get the opportunity to close. People would just keep piling in.

  3. Yo Tortoise,Hey, as always you bring up some good points. I know, I know, here comes Starnes with some controversial comments:) However, it seems that those that have a close and intimate relationship with the Father are the ones that are dissatisfied with “church”. For example, some of the people that read your blog. Why is that you may ask? Well, that takes more characters than I can type in this comment box. But, consider the possibility that churches “do” need all these marketing programs because the relationships and the intimacy that people are looking for are difficult to find in church. It’s not that the people in the church aren’t sincere or that they’re not Christians. The challenge is stripping away the tradition of church and letting Jesus be the center.That’s hard to do sometimes because church isn’t really designed for that. Here’s the key to showing someone Jesus. Let them see His Body properly assembled and working as designed. His body must manifest His character. That means that each part of the Body must fulfill it’s designed purpose. I can’t say what each part’s role is, but I know it’s not staring at the back of someone’s head every Sunday morning. I agree with Justin that if the believers in church were “fired” up for Jesus then it would change the entire scene. Unfortunately(for the church), if that happened there would not be a need for church as we know it today. Your Bro,Scott

  4. I’ve read that before. Is that a repeat? Just giving you a hard time. Thank you for questioning the way we (christians) do things, and challenging things that many people assume are right because everyone does them. I salute you.Now give us fresh meat.

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