PROMOTION without successful Connectivity is DESTRUCTIVE.
Richard Reisling, author of Church Marketing 101 told us that most churches should not promote themselves. Why? Because you’ll just get more people to come along and see how unhealthy you are and tell everyone else. Jesus will either be a stumbling block or a stepping stone, but it’s tragic when we become what trips people up.
The PASTOR cannot ‘do’ church alone. Everyone can play a part in welcoming people because everything matters – for example, if the children’s work is rubbish, people are very unlikely to come back. If you’re committed to the church, than you’re also privileged and responsible ‘ – we’re ALL there to deliver on the promise of welcome Jesus extends. If just a few leaders have ‘it’ – that’s a failure of leadership (and Pastor you’re very vulnerable, too because it all depends on you).
In Numbers 13 we read about some more ‘marketing’ in scripture:
God says to Moses, ‘I want you to get some guys to scout out the land, go and see it and find whether the people are strong or weak, many of few, is the land good or bad? Are they spread out in tents or in strong cities? Bring some produce back.’
GOD says, ‘Go and do a reconnaissance run.’ This is the birth of marketing! That’s a demographic study, a market sampling! Go and study the land, the people, the place. And come back with a good report – to encourage everyone about the possibilities. Why? He wanted them all to be intimately involved in the pursuit, of the promised land.
CHALLENGE: Is your church actively adapting to your community?
That doesn’t mean we become a cannibal to reach one. But we have to think like a cannibal to reach one! Are we relating to not-yet- believers too? What do people need? People need to be loved, and not judged.
Is there a culture of outreach in your church community or is the pressure on just a few? Going back to the stadium analogy from the previous blog – are we connecting on every level or just a few?
All these things are ‘the people test.’ If you have a healthy culture in the church and you deliver on what you say, word of that will get out. If not, it’s a media fraud!
PASSING THE PEOPLE TEST: Remember it’s all about people. It’s about Stewardship of what is most precious to God – people. If they are willing to try you out, that’s a big deal. It’s certainly a big deal for them! If you have visitors to your church this Easter, you are responsible for how well you steward them. Are you hospitable?
Principle – If we steward anything well, God will give us more. If you’re faithful with people who are looking for Him, he’ll send you more. It works like this in any area. We give more responsibility to one who has shown themselves responsible. God’s a lot smarter than us! Could this be part of the reason why some churches grow and some don’t?
Do you recognise the VALUE of a visitor? Read Matt 18:12. Who are the 99? They’re the church people. If that’s you – it’s SO not about you that Jesus would leave you to ‘seek and save the lost.’ He said that’s the purpose of His coming. It’s NOT about us.
We can be like a group of people who decide to climb a mountain. After some effort we stop half way at a ski lodge. And it’s nice there to sleep overnight.And then we realise outside it’s going to be colder, and the views pretty good from here, so we stick – half way, where it’s comfortable for us. This is not just about the traditional church. This happens with so many ‘emerging’ churches that never… quite… emerge.
To be the church that reaches people far from God is COSTLY. Don’t settle halfway from being the church you’re being called to be.