Monday, June 28, 2010

"Church Growth & Marketing"

by Josh Helm | 6/28/2010

The question is asked "What can we do because the economy is down we don't have money to advertise to draw people into our programs at our church?" "How will we ever compete with these big mega churches who have all that money?"

Now I realize that this might not be the popular opinion obviously because the majority of preachers are continuing with the same rhetoric as we have been hearing for quite some time. Besides that popular opinion does not mean immunity from error. They continue building programs and pushing church growth schemes down the throats of God's people trying to manipulate what they have in order to turn it into more numbers and ultimately glory for them. There is a sense that it is not an agenda influenced by God almighty but an agenda filled with self ambition, absorption and self promotion. You see it is sad to say but "america church" today has
become nothing except a glorified business. They scheme, manipulate, twist, connive, pervert the gospel into any way that they can in order to have the achieved goal titled "Success". Yes that is right "Success" is the new god that we worship now. All in the name of "Success" we command our programs from the thrones of man which for the most part are self help programs all designed to make you feel better about "self" all while excluding the real problem "self" We don't need to feel better about self, we need to forget about self. This is a foundational truth that Christ made very clear in the word of God in Luke 9:23 "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Now read this translation in The Message Bible.

Luke 9:23 (The Message)

23-27Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You're not in the driver's seat—I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I'm leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn't, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God."

Now, why don't we quit striving in church and start being the church? Lets imagine that as an idea for marketing!

The Apostle Paul said it like this

Romans 12:1

” I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect ”

This is the presentation that should be coming forth from God's people. A presentation of sacrifice, holiness, righteousness, clearly displaying what a blood bought, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, child of God should look like.

The fact is lights, bells and whistles don’t make people love Christ more. They make people attracted to man made programs that have not the life of Jesus in them. The kingdom of God has no superstars except one, His name is Jesus Christ. There is no name above that name. We are prepared and adorned to be His bride.

Revelation 21:2
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Let Christ make His own marketing in you. What better way is there to present Christ than in the flesh. That's right we need to allow Christ to have full reign & residence in our lives.

Romans 8:11
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

He that hath an ear let him hear…

To Know Him


  1. So are you saying that allowing the full rule and reign of God in our lives to live out the purposes that he has set before us and walk with humility in all we do, is not marketing for the gospel? If we do this full of the spirit of God then people will see that something is different and our actions will speak to them. This is a form of marketing. If there was one thing I could do, that would be to remove the word marketing for church and replace it with effective communication - but people would not understand it as much. I agree with you that church marketing should never be about getting bums on seats but, in my eyes, about being relevant to the world without becoming tolerant. Branding and marketing is therefore so important as we live in a media age where by if the church is not communicating in a relevant way then it will be ignored. Jesus went out into the streets and preached on street corners just like those that preached false doctrine. He brought the Kingdom of God in a relevant way. Why are you anti churches being relevant with god effective communications?

  2. I clearly said we need to allow Christ to have full reign & residence in our lives. I said that is the presentation we should be making. The problem in America is that it has become the popular thing to use "Shock & Awe" marketing methods to try and gain the attention of the world. This is not the instruction of Christ. Christ didn't put signs up all over town, or send our direct mail. I'm not saying that there is something wrong with that. God knows the intent of the heart. Whether they are doing it to fill a chair and add glory to there own crown or whether it is solely for the glory of God. We can by the spirit discern things. What we need more than anything is people to live, walk, exemplify the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Its not enough to have effective communication. The world is tired of hearing what the church has to say. They want to see the fruit. Its almost like we think we can trick people into becoming Christians and then they will figure it all out later. God help us. Being relevant? Being real, is what we need. I heard someone say the best vitamin for a christian is B1.

    Romans 12:1
    ” I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect ”

  3. I agree with you Josh; you're right on brother. The church has not been called to be culturally relevant; but our culture is to bow its knees to the relevance of scripture and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. These marketing agendas are not truly doing anything except building our own peevish kindgoms on earth in the name of a god made in our own image. The preaching of the gospel of Christ is the only means whereby a sinner might believe; not marketing schemes. Our religious dog and pony shows are great to build the church of tares, but the true wheat will be drawn by the Spirit of God, and brought unto repentance as they hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ preached. Appealing to the sensory realm of man has no saving power; only the Spirit of God through the gospel. When these methods face the fire of refinement, they will find that they are hay, wood, and stubble; they will be consumed. It may temporarily look successful, but the means God has ordained cannot be ignored, or replaced, and expect God ordained ends. The man-made substitutes are only prideful inventions created by arrogant minds that feel they are smarter than the Sovereign Creator of our universe. It is DUNG! It will prove futile on the day of the Lord. God does not rely upon the feeble techno-crutch of our godless generation to advance His own cause! He is yet using feeble men with broken hearts, who have lost their lives for His glory. I know many will disagree, but God still uses Gideon's who are feeble, insecure, small, and jeered at by society, to demonstrate His omnipotent power. May God bring us down in size, break us, and use us, to His own glory.

  4. Melton, I couldn't agree more with you on the subject... Yes may God bring us down to size. May we humble ourselves before the one true Lord and relinquish unto him the glory that He deserves. May the man of God be restored unto the pulpit again to preach the words of life with consuming fire. May the man of God once again be found faithful as the Apostle Paul discussed. May it please the Lord to bring to an end this DUNG! and as you said it will all be hay, stubble, and wood for the fire. Let the church rise and remain steadfast after that which is good, holy, righteous, and acceptable before His eyes. Finally, May we express Jesus and not the ways of idealists and trendy imagination of man.