RETHINKING YOUR CHURCH ADVERTISING

  BY STEVE DUNN

 Does your church advertise?

I certainly hope so.  You have the most important commodity in the universe–a relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Increasingly people in our culture are unaware that they need it, in part because they don’t know about it.  More and more people know less and less about the real Jesus, much less that He wants to transform their lives. And irony of ironies, he has put this message into our hands as the Church.  Are you advertising what you have to offer?

Most churches, if they advertise at all–it is by a bulletin board in front of the church, or a spot in a newspaper (on the church page), or by word of mouth.  But most church signs, in addition to needing a paint job, say very little.  Newspaper ads are generally read by church people. And many Christians have so few unchurched friends that the word out of their mouths goes into the ears of other church people.  The biggest word we get in that vein are by people who are critical of the church and by the media who is always fascinated more by the aberrations of the church than its message.

So as you begin to “rethink” your advertising ask these three questions: 1. Who is our audience (who are trying to reach) 2. What is the message they need to hear that will help them see the church as worth their time? 3. How do THEY receive their information?

And then there is a fourth question, that is often quite threatening–The churches that seem to be capturing the attention of the unchurched, what are they doing to advertise?

In the next issue we will offer suggestions on effective ways to get the story of what God is doing through your church out to the world.

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