Pastoral Selling

George CliffordClergy obviously need more than spirituality, academic preparation, and field education to become great bishops, deans, rectors, and vicars.

Retired Navy chaplain George Clifford recently included the above quote in a blog post emphasizing the importance of the skill of selling within the framework of leadership.  He writes:

Spend a day with the bishop, dean, rector, or vicar of one our relatively few growing, thriving dioceses or congregations and you will observe a leader who is a highly effective salesperson . . . Good ordained leaders are constantly selling the organization they lead to other staff, volunteers, members, and the non-affiliated.

So What?

In an era when many churches are declining, much is being written about that trend.  Thankfully, the amount of literature is growing that considers the smaller number of churches that are growing, including commonalities and best practices.

  • Is pastoral competency in selling something far more common in growing churches than in declining ones?
  • Should leadership bodies at the level of the local church as well as denomination be allocating additional resources to aid clergy in attaining and improving competency with the skill of selling?


  1. Ron Thompson says:

    The word selling may be something people see the wrong way, perhaps promoting is better? And this desire to promote comes from passion, I believe. It comes naturally from relationship with Christ as something we are passionate, our church (not just mine) but where we minister, if it is indeed a place for Christian love, growth and healing, it is something we (clergy, leaders) promote, invite, people to participate in, based on a well spring of relationship with Christ, joy, and this “sells” itself. Will everyone want this? Obviously no, but it is more natural when it is a passion, promoting the church i spromoting our realtionship with Christ, naturally.

    Competency in selling needs to be defined we are soft sell in my opinion.

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