October 31, 2006

Way Too Important!

Seth Godin, while talking about marketing, destroys the typical conception of marketing. This article reminds us that the message of salvation in Jesus Christ is too important to reduce to marketing plan and wait for professionals to get the word out.

The best way to reach people for Jesus Christ is for one person to tell their friends; it means having a church and mission so exciting that people want to tell others about it. This is one of the things that happens at my church. It is such a great place to be that you want to tell others about it. You know you won't be embarrassed by what happens when people get there.

When I was a teenager, I started attending a church that actually HAD a youth group. I still attended the "other" church with my grandmother occasionally. Once I decided to take some friends from my new church to the "other" church. To be honest, this was a rather sadistic move on my part. I knew that all the new visitors were expected to come to the front of the sanctuary to pick a pencil out of the box. Not only did they get a spiffy new pencil, but they got embarrassment to go along with it. Neither of them held it against me too much because I married one and have coffee with the other almost weekly. But, it certainly was funny.

I think back to some of the churches that I attended. It is no wonder they couldn't reach people because they weren't doing anything exciting enough for people to want to tell others about. The church plant I pastored excited some people, but most of them, because they were attending out of denominational loyalty and not vision alignment, didn't tell very many people about the church. (I don't think they had many friends outside the church anyway).

Marketing is organic and grassroots. It must start with an excitement about who (Jesus) and what (changing the world and serving others), and then move to the common, every-day-person telling others.

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