Archive for the ‘Church Marketing’ Category

Deviation from the Series – A Word on Websites

April 12, 2006

Tony Morgan had an exceptional entry this morning on Good for Nothing Websites on his Simply Strategic Blog. Read it yourself, but the bottom line question is what purpose does your church website serve, and how well is it serving? I agree that too many churches today throw up a site because everybody has one, but they fail to make it a value to those who they hope will use it. A website should be an asset, not a liability. If you, or your board are looking at it with disdain and contempt, your probably not ready to commit the time, resources, and energy to move it from the latter to the former, and you will do yourself a service by waiting until you get there.

That, and I love the Pontiac Montana analogy!

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Church and Society – part 2 of ? – Christians in Business

April 12, 2006

Ok – We recently talked about how the Church, and Christians in general, should be effecting society and should have a presence in the world. The next question to pose is: What does that look like? Also, is there a right and wrong way?

Enter my drive home the other day… I am heading down a main street in suburbia, and suddenly my eye is drawn to a full 4×8 readerboard with 1′ Neon Yellow lettering screaming “CHRISTIAN”. Driving closer, the finer print becomes readable…” BANKING IS COMING”.

Christian Banking

Alright. I get it. I know the bank immediately. I know that they have had great success with this marketing strategy. They promote themselves as the “Christian” alternative to normal banking. They have drawn a percieved line in the sand that the “Big Banks” can’t and won’t cross. I don’t belittle them for repeating what has proven to be a successful strategic positioning decision. My curiosity, and my initial thought, was whether or not this positioning was solely self-serving. Does it in any way help the cause of the Church? (which I am asserting to be the fulfillment of the Great Commission for the purposes of this discussion) For that matter, does it need to?

It seems to me that while this may be a plus for them, and their business, it has a counterproductive
“Christian ghetto” effect in polarizing the rest of the world. What is “Christian” banking anyway? Is it merely giving your money to a “Christian” management team? Are those going to non-Christian banks expecting anything less than honesty, integrity, and fair treatment from their bank? Is it merely to say “if you’re not a Christian, you’re not our target market, and if you are, we are the only bank that will make you feel special about it…” I believe, and I think the success of the bank in their opening of the second branch proves, that it is the latter. For some reason, that saddens me.

I will stop there for this moment. I reserve the right to add my own commentary to my original thoughts as I see fit. But how about your thoughts? After all, isn’t that part of what this is for?

I Feel a Series Coming On…

April 7, 2006

Today I will begin the creation of what I know is going to become a theme for at least a few days on Christianity, The Church, and how we as Christians present ourselves to the world. I have been inspired of late by seemingly every little thing I trip across that there is a thematic continuity to all of this, but I've not yet been able to put it into a basket so to speak… Just know that its brewing, and coming soon.

Ejection Seats of Divisiveness

March 29, 2006

The United Church of Christ has recently released their newest ad campaign zeroing in on growing their congregations by focusing on those rejected by the church. The ad is featured on their website, "RejectionHurts.com" and shows people being selectively "ejected" from the pews. Those ejected include a mother with a crying baby, the man of whatever ethnicity he is (at right), a homosexual male couple, and a handicapped person, among others, and then follows with the screen text: "God doesn't reject people". The site is supposed to have testimonies, of which there were only 8, (mind you that all 8 of these are valid and deserving of attention) however I was curious if they would post my opinion that I took the time to share with them. For editorial integrity, I have posted it below:

First, to all of those who have shared their absolutely valid testimonies and stories of how they have been wronged by the church, Thank you for your openness, and on behalf of myself and my family who call ourselves by the name Christian, we are sorry for your experiences.That said, to the directors of the "United" church of Christ, can you explain to me how this website, this commercial, and this campaign is anything but divisive? You are not solving the problem, but merely propegating it by drawing the "Us and Them" line even further apart.

I am saddened by the fact that you have chosen to attack the ecumenical church as a whole in order to grow your own cause in the name of tolerance. Poor practice in my book. I am curious – since I disagree, will you have the integrity to post my opinion, or will you yourselves choose to play the role of that which you so disdain, and "eject" me? If you truely want to effect change, than engage in the dialouge that creates it. Otherwise, you are doing nothing more than adding to the noise. Lets see where you stand, as the ball is most respectfully in your court.

I will post any replies I receive to this blog, so check back.

Please feel free to do the same, and to comment. This was brought to my attention by Todd Rhoades on his Monday Morning Insights blog. Thanks Todd.

Creating THE PURPLE COW

March 28, 2006


Church Goes Monster Truck – Listen to the Radio Spot

Every once in a while, someone comes up with an idea that "scrapes the proverbial skin off the top of the pudding" and brings a fresh new stir to church marketing. Though this was "just for fun", I love the concept, and feel like we need to be able to have a little fun once in a while, even if it is ourselves that we are laughing at. Also, there are some interesting opinions on the Anglican Postmortem blog

Hats off also to Granger Community Church in Granger IN for their "My lame sex life" website and the Pure Sex series. Well done. If you haven't seen it, check it out. Apparently, these guys are also doing some church training as well to discuss the ideas behind the series and the motivation. Check out the training at wiredchurches.com, or go to Tony Morgan's blog, who is part of the team behind the concept.

Its a Whole New World

February 23, 2006

Returning to our offices today in Boise, we find ourselves remarkably in a different world than that which we left a week ago. Through the power of education, networking, and observation, our lives are somehow "different".

The church today should have the same effect on those around us. We should be caught acting like the people Christ wanted us to be. Poeple should observe us living a life based on biblical principles. We should be engaging society, not boycotting and shunning it, looking reactionary.

Lets have the discussions and answer the questions that the world is screaming about. Do you find it ironic that the top shows on TV today are shows with names like LOST and DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES??? Could it be that society is trying to tell us where they see themselves by what they can identify with?

OK, so maybe its just my little revelation, and those thoughts are not as deep to anyone else as they are to me. Thats fine. As the title says, these are my thoughts, and my world. I can live with that!

Church Done Right – Fellowship Church

February 22, 2006




Wow. My first impression walking into Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX. Amazing. This place did it right. You walk into the bookstore alone and can get a hearty respect for the fact that these guys did their homework. Well done FC. You made church look GOOOD.

Nrb final evening

February 21, 2006

NRB_Banquet Mission Media

This years NRB Banquet was a great evening. Here, Roger Zanders & Michael Boerner of Boise, Idaho's Mission Media join Natalie Nichols of Shades of Grace Ministries of Nacogdoches, Texas at the 2006 NRB Banquet.

The evening featured music by the CCM group Selah, as well as presentations of the Word by renowned author Kay Arthur and Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer, Henry Blackabee. In addition, the crowd was addressed in a video greeting by President George W. Bush

The NRB, the USG’s, and other interesting insights

February 21, 2006


I sit today at lunch at the National Religious Broadcasters association national conference in Dallas, TX, and I am reflecting on the amazing cultural and generational contrast of the people at this event. One of my colleagues here today coined a new acronym for me… the USG's or "untucked shirt guys". You see, the NRB is predominantly a collection of the "old guard"; blue pinstripe suits, white shirts and ties. Polished edges. I even brought 3 suits for the week. But this year, NRB started something new…

REACH conference – home of the USG's
The Reach conference was intended to be a progressive, innovative Christian media conferece. The speakers, the music, the sets – its all different. It is at the front end of the NRB, and brings in a TOTALLY different demographic. The suits are replaced with frayed jeans. Ties don't exist. Its actually "relevant" to culture today. wow, what a concept – a relevant church in the eyes of the young!

Kudos to Phil Cooke and the progressive group of thinkers that pushed for the concept of Reach. The NRB is still the NRB, and it needs to stay that way. It would have been a stretch and probably a tragic flop to try to make the NRB "hip". They are a cornerstone of the religious broadcasting industry, and have all the integrity, class, and knowledge that you could ask for.(I have the utmost respect for the years of ministry, history, and service that members of the NRB have contributed to Christianity today, so please don't find me irreverant) Yet they have seen in their wisdom that it was also time that they open the door to the "new guard". A new seat has been brought to the table, and the USG's have arrived. They have some good input that the church will do well to respond to.