The Current Trend to Add Numbers Quickly
Last week (part one), we looked at the Kids DayCare as an example of a time when God didn’t need marketing. We talked about how we had grown from 8 kids to 45 with really nothing but a banner and a website. Since last week, we have added 7 more kids. Does God need marketing? The answer seems to still be “No” for Kids DayCare. It it always this way? If we are doing something that matters, something God wants, do we need to market it or will it just grow?
Kids DayCare comes into play again here. There may have been little direct marketing (we could only afford a $169 banner!) but there has been a lot of social media surrounding Kids DayCare. In fact, the banner and good reviews and comments of Facebook remain the primary way that parents are hearing about Kids DayCare. Good personal recommendations are the strongest marketing when it comes to something super important (like who will care for our kids while we are at work). Word of mouth even works in unimportant things. It sends videos viral on YouTube and the more likes the video has the more we believe it is a good video. The more we believe, the more we click.
There is an onslaught of church marketing going on today. Postcards, ads, billboards, online ads, and yard signs are everywhere. Done well these tools get results. Churches grow. People visit. It seems that the edgier churches get the better the results at reaching new people. Church marketing works to drive in increasing numbers. Is it bad? The marketing creates buzz and “word of mouth” about what is going on at so and so church. Thousands of people are hearing the Good News because of it. New churches are growing by leaps and bounds. And isn’t that what we all want?
So, does God need marketing?
Marketing may get us to look at the site, the product, the whatever but we still read the reviews when buying something unknown. We are looking for good, strong personal recommendations. What could be more unknown for the person who doesn’t get God, or who has been burnt by Christians than thinking about God or going to church? I wonder how powerful a personal recommendation would be at this point.
I have so many questions. Why aren’t people just recommending Christ and their churches on their own? Why do churches have to continue marketing and creating buzz and giving opportunities for word of mouth referrals? Are churches really launching life changes for people? Are we doing something that matters to God or are we asking him to bless our marketing of what we want to do?
Doug Burrier © 2016