Why Marketing Isn't Anti-Biblical

Posted by James Thiessen on Mar 14, 2016 8:00:00 AM

The word marketing is a broad term that means a lot of different things to different people. It is defined in lots of different ways too. In the economic world, a traditional definition of marketing goes something like this. “Marketing is the means by which an organization engages its target audience to convey the value of their product with the goal of selling it to them.” Traditional marketing is very focused on the business or the product that is being sold and attempts to reach as many people as possible, with the hope that it will get a few people to buy.

More recently, there has been a shift in the marketing world from just talking about your product and business to actually building long-lasting relationships with people. The emergence of inbound marketing is proof of that. Marketers have realized that building relationship is actually more powerful than just talking about how great their product or service is and shouting their message to as many people as possible. This is the difference between traditional marketing and inbound marketing.

Churches and ministries often think of marketing based upon traditional methods and have examples of how businesses have used it to be manipulative, selfish, and greedy. While those methods do exist, they do not define what marketing is and how it can be benefit the church. A better and more current definition of marketing might be that it is the methods used to create long-lasting relationship and communicate your message to your audience.


Marketing Does Not Equal Manipulation

Marketing is commonly misinterpreted as a way that slimy salespeople trick us into buying something we don’t want or need. It makes sense that churches wouldn't want to do that, or be affiliated with that idea. The problem is that it is defining concept of marketing by the how it has been misused in certain situations. The way we think about marketing determines how we feel about it. Churches can use marketing concepts to effectively reach more people with the message of Jesus and build lasting relationships.

Marketing-Jesus-Is-The-Way.jpgMarketing is about communicating a message

The idea that marketing your church to communicate a message and build long-lasting relationships is a strategy that churches can believe in. No matter how you define it, all churches do marketing in one way or another. Whether it’s a social media, a website, printing a bulletin, or the annual Christmas and Easter programs, marketing is involved. These are all things that a Church is producing to communicate a message. Ultimately the church’s job is to promote the Gospel of Jesus. and marketing can help churches to communicate the message of Jesus clearly and effectively.

Marketing is about building relationships

Marketing is not sales. Many churches try to stay away from marketing because they view it from the economic standpoint as a way to increase sales. Jesus said to go make disciples and baptize them so viewing conversions like sales is not a very attractive method at all. However, to go and make disciples infers that you are building a long-lasting relationship. Our new definition of marketing is about creating a connection with people in order to build a long-term relationship. Churches can use marketing concepts on platforms like social media and church websites to attract new visitors and keep people engaged in their relationship with God throughout the week.

Final Thoughts

Marketing is a powerful tool that churches can use to communicate a message and build relationships. To label marketing as anti-biblical and avoid using it in your church or ministry will seriously limit growth and ability to reach people with your message. Newer marketing concepts rather than traditional ones are a lot more applicable and will generate better results in an ethical way. Let’s face it, online marketing isn’t going away any time soon, so if you don't have a church website, a great place to start is to create a mobile responsive website with great web design. A website is a powerful communication tool that churches and ministries can use to reach people and build relationships.



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Topics: ministry, marketing

James Thiessen

Written by James Thiessen

James grew up in Canada until he married an American and moved to sunny California. He came to the US with a marketing degree and a go-getter attitude in pursuit of the American dream.