Recently, I attended a church planting conference. One of the presenters talked about how too many churches are convinced that all they need is a new and improved marketing campaign.
He said (well, this is my paraphrase of what he said), “Listen, marketing is important. But, what you’re marketing is more important. If you are just marketing the same programs, ministries, and worship experiences that people have already indicated they are not interested in, you are wasting time and money. While the campaign might get them to visit, they probably won’t return because you’re offering the same old crap.”
He went on to say, “Starting something new is the best plan for church revitalization today. If you aren’t offering anything new, you shouldn’t be surprised when new people don’t show up. It doesn’t mean that the old stuff is no longer important or that you should stop doing it. It just means you have to also offer something new.”
He then implied, “The trick is to find ways to get the leadership of the church to say ‘yes’ to at least supporting and trying something new and different.”
So, marketing is important. But, what we are marketing is more important!
It makes me think of struggling and failing restaurants. You visit and the service is terrible…the food is terrible…the overall experience is terrible. Then, you receive a flyer in the mail. It’s a clever marketing campaign and entices you to give the restaurant a second try. So, you return and the experience is virtually the same. The service is terrible…the food is terrible…the overall experience is terrible. The menu is the same. The decorating is the same. The chef and management are the same. Nothing changed. And, that’s the problem.
Well, I suppose that’s enough ranting for now. My hope is that we will all consider what “new” things we can be trying!