Understand the difference between true and felt needs. Realize that unless you can connect with people on the level they feel they need, you can’t introduce them to their real need. For example, people might feel that there’s something missing in their lives, that they have questions in need of answers, or that their kids need to be in church to learn good morals. But their true need is for a saving relationship with Christ. If you help meet their felt needs, over time, they can discover their true need and begin a relationship with Christ.


Create a brand. Plan strategically to create a church brand – a consistent perception over time in the minds of people who encounter your church. Try to anticipate people’s questions about who your congregation is and where you’re going, then answer them in advance through your brand. When making decisions, always consider your brand. When promoting your church, vividly communicate your church’s brand. Filter your decisions and your communication through your brand. Regularly ask yourself, “Is this consistent with who we’ve defined ourselves to be, as God led us?” Use graphic design to convey the essence of your church’s brand through printed promotional materials and your Website. Strive to provoke a pre-defined response in people who see the design.


Visualize the future. Ask God to help you and your leadership team picture your church next year, two years from now, and in five years. Discuss the vision, reach agreement on it, and let it fuel your church’s passion and direction. Whenever you’re considering how to spend time, energy, and money in the future, remind yourself of your church’s vision and make choices in light of that and your church’s brand. Meet with your leadership team regularly to stay on track and make adjustments as God gives you all fresh insights.


Adapted from Church Marketing 101: Preparing Your Church for Greater Growth, copyright 2006 by Richard L. Reising.  Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerpublishinggroup.com. 


Richard L. Reising is a recognized authority on church marketing and branding. He is founder and president of Artistry Marketing Concepts LLC, an organization based in Dallas, Texas, that helps churches and ministries make wise use of marketing, design, and technology. He has helped thousands of ministries in the United States and worldwide through speaking engagements, training seminars, and consulting services. To find out more about ChurchMarketing 101 seminars and other resources, visit www.churchmarketing101.com. For information about other marketing services, visit Reising’s company site at www.artistrymarketing.com.