Like many of the terms that come from the secular marketing arena, the term brand can leave a bad taste in the mouth of a ministry professional. And with good reason. In the secular world, after all, brand activity is often used as makeup, covering up real flaws in a product or company. However, like we’ve seen in previous articles, there are many times when crossovers from the secular marketing world have some application in ministry. This article outlines the concept of branding and what merit it may have within the context of a church—if any at all.
Our goal at SermonView is not to shoehorn the church into worldly marketing practices, but to redeem biblical principles that have been used in the mainstream marketing world. Our fundamental goal is to increase the effectiveness of church communication. Before we head down this road of branding let’s start with a reminder as to how we define church marketing:
I know that this is a touchy subject for many pastors. I have been asked should we “market the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” The answer is no but wheter we like it or not, especially in the mainline denominations, we have to do a better job of answering the question, why does this church matter? If it were gone tomorrow would anyone miss the ministry provided here? What ministries at this church make a difference in the lives of the people that we serve? This is what you market. This is your brand.
When you can not answer these questions you are lost in the catagory of “church” rather than First UMC where people’s lives are transformed in the celebrate recovery group. or Second UMC where the youth group nurtures seeking youth as they make a coomiment to Christ.