The Biblical Principles of Marketing: Why You Should Promote Your Church
Table of contents
- Is Church Marketing Biblical?
- Understanding the Biblical Principles of Marketing
- Why Your Church Should Be Marketing & Why It’s Okay
- Final Thoughts
As a church leader, you want to help as many people as possible grow in their faith. And to do that, you need to extend your church’s reach by promoting it wide. Yet, there’s still some hesitation on your part. That’s why you’re here—to take a deeper dive into the biblical principles of marketing and learn whether you should promote your church.
Some people may argue that church marketing…
- Goes against the spirit of humility and service emphasized in the Bible
- Focuses more on promoting a church and its activities than serving and helping others
In reality, this isn’t the case—at least when church marketing is handled properly.
Here’s the thing…
The teaching of Christ, and the church in general, is all about demonstrating humility and doing selfless acts. Mentioning the words church and marketing in one sentence seems contradictory, especially among those who are part of a ministry. But while Christ’s message of focusing on selfless endeavors and not seeking monetary wealth is clear, he also taught the need to spread the Good News.
And that’s exactly what marketing allows you to do.
Let’s start by answering one of the most common questions among church leaders: “Is church marketing biblical?”
Is Church Marketing Biblical?
The short answer is yes.
First things first: There is no explicit prohibition against church marketing in the Bible. Instead, it teaches that Christians should spread the gospel and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. Verses such as Matthew 28:18-20 encourage believers to “go out and make disciples of all the nations.”
Marketing is simply a way of doing what you’re called to do:
- Reaching those who want to explore their faith
- Educating those who don’t know Jesus
- Building a community of believers
However, it is important for churches to approach marketing in a way that aligns with their values and mission and to ensure that their efforts are focused on serving and helping others rather than simply promoting the church for its own sake.
This is a dilemma that church leaders face: How do you market your church without pestering or being too self-promotional?
Understanding and applying the biblical principles of marketing is the critical factor to getting it done—and doing it right.
Understanding the Biblical Principles of Marketing
Far too many churches and ministries are unable to achieve their mission for one simple reason. They do not (or will not) uphold the value of marketing in spreading the word about their organization and what it’s doing for the community.
But as mentioned above, marketing exists in the Bible—though it’s not referred to that way. The Scriptures describe marketing as a communication tool. In fact, the need to communicate is something the Bible preaches in depth.
“How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”—Romans 10:15
It’s clear that marketing is not just accepted but encouraged in the Bible. When you recognize the biblical principles of marketing, you can appropriately spread the word about your church or ministry and help more people in the process.
Follow Jesus’s Marketing Example
Jesus was one of the earliest examples of a good marketer. In fact, many consider Jesus to be a marketing genius. Despite being the son of God, he was able to integrate himself with the common folk. He identified the motivations and behaviors of others to communicate with them in a way that would resonate with them.
When he put together his team of disciples, he chose people from all walks of life and across various parts of society.
Although some marketing experts would emphasize the need to pick your target audience, Jesus demonstrated that if you can put together a universal message, you can tap into a wider audience with your message.
But one of the most compelling parts of Jesus’s marketing abilities—that which applies to the biblical principles of marketing—is his use of stories.
Whenever Jesus had a teaching to share, he used stories to convey that teaching. This enabled his audience to engage with his stories on a deeper level.
It’s no coincidence that modern marketers of today advocate the use of storytelling to capture the audience’s attention in marketing. Jesus was the master of this technique in his time.
Remember That Marketing Is Ministering
As mentioned above, Jesus encouraged his disciples and believers to not only listen to his word but also spread the word of God.
Marketing, therefore, is a form of ministering. It is all about the message that you are trying to spread. Marketing is just a tool you use to deliver that message.
When you market your church, you glorify God because you honor His command to spread the Good News. At the same time, you light up the path for others to follow your ministry and serve.
Without marketing, the people in your community (and beyond) won’t be aware of your organization's mission. You can use this as an opportunity to awaken the passion in them to serve others and God. The effective use of the biblical principles of marketing helps carve the path for others in your flock.
Approach Marketing the Right Way
The goal of marketing for an online ministry or church is to promote the organization's message, values, and activities to a broader audience and build relationships with people seeking spiritual support and community through online channels.
To take the right approach, you need to focus on the following:
- Truth – You must be honest, transparent, and never manipulative in your messaging.
- Humility – When talking about your church, you should adopt a humble attitude.
- Service – With everything you do, your priority should be serving God and others.
In doing so, you can make sure your marketing efforts are made in good faith.
Why Your Church Should Be Marketing & Why It’s Okay
Like any business, your church has a mission. While the end goal is different, you can rely on marketing to reach as many people as possible. Although religion in the U.S. is experiencing a decline, it presents an opportunity for you to use marketing to your advantage.
Since the days of Jesus, the way people connect with and give to the church has changed significantly. Yet, what hasn’t changed is the commitment to spreading the word of the gospel. The challenge for churches and religious ministries today is to overcome the notion that marketing doesn’t align with the Bible. As we’ve already established, it is emphasized in the Bible.
If you want to reach out to more people in your community and beyond, it’s high time you use the biblical principles of marketing to your advantage.
In the past, we’ve discussed the benefits of using social media for your church. Now, let’s speak more generally about how marketing will benefit your church or ministry.
It Allows You to Reach More People
Obviously, the intent of marketing is to reach more people, and when you can reach more people, you can impact more lives.
According to Statista, there were 4.59 billion global social network users in 2022—with that number expected to reach 4.89 this year and continue to rise. And social media is just one aspect of marketing for your church. Imagine the audience you have access to when you tap into other channels!
It means you can spread the gospel in a way that overflows the limitations of the four corners of your church. You can utilize technologies and other online platforms to share…
…and so on.
It is the goal of every church to reach more people and spread the word of God. Now is the best opportunity to let more people know you exist and can help them along their faith journey.
It Encourages Engagement in Pursuing the Work of God
One of the primary benefits of using the biblical principles of marketing to promote your church or ministry is the engagement you can amass from your congregation.
The goal is to light a fire within each member of your community. You want them to remember your church’s mission. And you want them to remain engaged in their commitment to pursue the work of God.
Whether it’s through donating to the church’s cause or helping to spread the word of God, every member of your ministry has a vital role to play. With the use of marketing, it is a great way to empower them to continue in these selfless endeavors.
Remember the quote “out of sight, out of mind”? By marketing your church, it’s a gentle reminder to the members of your community to do their part. It can help keep current members engaged, involved, and committed.
It Generates Donations
Your organization relies on donations and similar gestures to sustain its activities and fulfill its mission. Through the power of marketing, you can inspire people to be generous. Moreover, you can build donor loyalty.
By providing people with insight into your church’s activities and being transparent about how donations have been used in the past (such as with a church annual report), you can drive more donations. And the best part is that when you have the financial backing of the community and your members, you have more to give back to the community that helped you.
It Helps Convey Your Mission
For you, as the leader of your church or ministry, it is important to share the word about your mission, especially if it will impact the community in a positive way.
Marketing your church and its mission will help you get more people to join in and help you accomplish your mission. By strategically communicating that to your audience, it engages them and makes them feel committed to your mission, too. It’s all about bringing them into your church’s story and demonstrating the key role they play.
It Aids in Building Trust
To convince people to donate or engage in some other way, you need to prove you’re trustworthy. Building trust among those unfamiliar with your church or ministry can be difficult. But marketing your organization properly can help.
It’s all about establishing your church or ministry as a reliable source of spiritual support, guidance, and community.
By doing the following:
- Being consistent in the quality and frequency of your online content
- Being genuine and transparent in your communication with your members
- Holding yourself and your staff accountable for your actions and decisions
- Responding to comments and actively seeking input on church activities and initiatives
- Demonstrating compassion and empathy toward your community
- Maintaining a high level of professionalism in all of your online activities
One of the reasons a lot of church leaders refuse to adopt marketing is that they fear they will end up running their church like a business. However, marketing isn’t just for business. The Bible even proves that!
If you employ the biblical principles of marketing, you end up not only preaching the gospel but also following in Jesus’s footsteps. He set out to spread the Good News and encouraged everyone to do the same.
The ability to minister to others and convince them to help spread God’s word is what the mission is all about. And there is no shame in doing that.
You can look at it as a way to apply your God-given gifts. By marketing your ministry, you can get more people on board. More importantly, you can extend your reach and help more people grow in their faith.
Need help with your church marketing efforts? Learn how Viral Solutions can assist you in growing your church.