Like all pastors with a passion to reach their communities for Christ, you want your church to grow. But if your hard work still isn’t bringing many new people through your church’s doors, you probably need to work on your marketing.

 

Marketing isn’t just for corporate business. At its core, marketing transcends commercial use. Marketing is simply managing people’s perceptions. And it is just as important for your church to do that as it is for any company, because smart marketing leads to successful growth.

 

Here’s how you can market your church wisely:

 

Broaden your perspective. Understand that marketing affects every aspect of your church, from its name and ministry style to its services and building. Know that marketing covers much more than just your church’s advertising efforts; it incorporates the sum total of how people experience and think about your church. Realize that marketing comes from knowing how people perceive your church today, having a vision for how you would like them to perceive you, and making decisive changes in your way of doing and communicating things so people will ultimately perceive your church as you desire.

 

Sit in the congregation’s seats. Try to envision how people perceive your church right now so you can use that information to develop your marketing plan. Remember that Jesus adjusted His topics and preaching style to fit His audience. He met people where they were and spoke on their level so they could understand clearly, yet also inspired them to rise to the next level. Imagine that you’re experiencing your church for the first time. Consider what visitors might think about topics such as: the concept of church in general, your denomination, your church’s name, location, Website, worship style, ministry style, ministry focus, vocabulary, signage, décor, doctrine, your church’s history, printed materials, leadership team, greeters, children’s and youth ministries, etc. Write down how you think visitors would think and feel about your church. Then write down how you want them to think and feel about it. Compare notes with others on your leadership team. As you discuss issues, be respectful of each other, being careful not to place blame but to work positively together toward common goals.

 

Get to know your target audience. Discover as much as you can about the people in your community. Study demographic data about local residents to find lifestyle patterns and trends. Spend time with people in your area regularly, observing them in public places and building friendships with a variety of people who live around you but don’t attend church. Get to know their needs, hopes, joys, and struggles. Engage with them in their element, around what’s important to them (not just what’s important to you).  Learn how to speak their language so you can make your church relevant to them and connect both personally and spiritually to them. Then, consider the crowd your church is currently reaching: Does it reflect your community?  Think about which lifestyle categories of people your church is most adept at reaching.