You’ve probably noticed by now that there are a lot of Church Planting resources designed to help you discover how to choose the right location, build a tribe, get to a critical mass and reach your target market through a snazzy marketing campaign. Often times, we treat church planting like any other entrepreneurial venture.
I love an attractive and engaging marketing campaign just as much as the next guy or gal. There is something about a well-designed logo that gets my blood pumping and it’s vitally important to communicate well. Marketing facilitates these things and often helps get people in the door of a new church. But, the scriptures speak more to our call to mission than simply filling seats.
Church Planting is not about marketing; it’s about Mission.
Good marketing creates intrigue. But, it is short lived and intrigue wears off. You have to keep going after people with the next trend in order to continue creating interest. The intrigue and excitement created from marketing calls us to bigger, brighter, and better. Relying on marketing can create a wide and shallow pool of people attracted to a version of Christianity that serves their personal interests. In a world of marketing, The Church is called to Mission.
Mission is not the antithesis of marketing. It is not void of intrigue. In fact, Mission is extremely attractive. It dares to be different, pushes people beyond themselves, challenges the status quo and fosters transformation. When individuals catch the bug of Mission, they change and become change agents in their communities. Mission may or may not get you to a critical mass of 200 for your launch week, but it is real and it is the stuff of the Bible.
So, here is a suggested marketing plan for your new church plant:
Step 1) Kneel. Lay down all of your schemes and dreams at the feet of Jesus.
Step 2) Ask. Spend significant time asking God what he is already doing and how He has uniquely positioned you be a part of His work. Get to know your community by asking questions; find out where the lost people are and what their needs are.
Step 3) Give. Commit yourself to the work of making disciples. It is messy and hard but lives aren’t transformed through marketing. Lives are transformed through the work of the Holy Spirit. Our call is not to market The Church but to be The Church, empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are to live as the broken body and the poured out blood of Christ for the sake of the world. May we get a vision for God’s Mission and give ourselves in full surrender to it!