The church is nothing like McDonalds.
The church cannot be marketed like a Big Mac. It isn’t a product or service. It isn’t a place that can be patronized. The bible describes it in many different ways, but the two that strike me as the most profound for a discussion about the church and marketing are 1 Peter 2:5 and 1 Corinithians 12:26. In 1 Peter 2:5, Paul describes the church as a temple made out of living stones with Jesus as the cornerstone. These living stones are the redeemed, those who have stepped out of darkness into light. Together they form the church and what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 12:26 as the body of Christ.
The difference between “church marketing” and “marketing”
These verses illuminate the two primary differences between “church marketing” and “marketing”. First, people aren’t customers or consumers of church, they are in fact the church. Whether at home, work, or hanging out with the friends, they are the church 24/7, not just on Sunday morning. This means the people (collectively) and the God they serve are the point, not the Sunday morning worship, preaching, or children’s ministry. Secondly, while there are over 300,000 “churches” in America, they are different parts of the same body. They aren’t competing like McDonalds, Chik-Fil-A, and Burger King. Each church is on the same team with the same mission – to make disciples of all the nations.
First Principles of Church Marketing
1. Every bit of our marketing needs to point to the people and the God we serve.
2. We are on a mission to make disciples, not to fill seats on Sunday morning.
Question: Do you think we’ve gotten the church we’ve marketed?
Photo compliments of Paul Nicholson.