Online Church Calendars

As someone in search of a church, I have spent a fair amount of time reviewing the websites of churches in my geographic area.  Thankfully most include a calendar that displays what is (or, in some cases, what is not) happening right now and in the near term future.  Since I have no real connection to these communities of faith, I assume that all activities (or at least all that they think important) appear on the public calendar. Observations The size of a church (both the square footage Read More …

Boosting Church Attendance

The comedian Stephen Tyrone Colbert recently offered this four minute segment entitled "Extreme Measures for Boosting Church Attendance."  As you watch, I encourage to admit when the humor is funny only because it reflects current reality.   The Colbert Report Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on Facebook   So What? While most churches seek to grow, only a small percentage engage in very radical campaigns to help Read More …

Key Marketing Question

Seth Godin, a one of a kind marketing genius who was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013, recently shared the most important question any person or entity marketing a product or service to a potential new customer must address: "Do they trust me enough to believe my promises?" So What? When churches engage in marketing they must not ignore this question.  Think about how your congregation markets itself to potential newcomers as well as how individual ministries seek Read More …

Marketing, Mission & Money

Last weekend First Congregational Church (Winter Park, FL) welcomed Cameron Trimble and Michael Piazza of the Center for Progressive Renewal.  They led a workshop for leaders from churches across Florida focused on marketing, mission and money - three of the most challenging issues facing the church today. While I was unable to attend, I benefited from it by reading some of the quotes Sarah Lund, Regional Minister of the Western Region of the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ, Read More …

Ministry Leaders & Social Media

BSM Almost all current ministry leaders completed their formal education BSM (Before Social Media).   Most pastors, musicians, and educators learned a great deal about their professions, including  how to communicate information about such with constituents and (ideally!) to a wider audience of prospective participants. Reality Check What happens when the communication and marketing channels they know best no longer resonate with their constituents?  Increasingly people want to not only Read More …

Church Marketing Shifts

Lindsay Christian's recent Capital Times article, "Marketing God: Churches Turn to the Web, Social Media to Attract Members," explores how many congregations in her area have shifted their marketing time and monies from print efforts to online endeavors. Christian's piece effectively explores how a significant trend has impacted congregations in her community. To highlight the significantly diminished return on investment and increasing irrelevancy of print advertising (especially with Read More …

Smartphone Habits

The Pew Research Center's Pew Internet & American Life Project has been tracking cell phone ownership and use for the past eight years.  Earlier this month they released a new infographic on our smartphone habits: So What? More people today are buying smartphones than traditional cell phones.  Smartphone ownership has been increasing for some time, and all indicators suggest that continued growth is likely.  In addition to more people having smartphones, more smartphone owners are Read More …

Before Visiting a New Church

Before visiting a new church, most people seek some basic information online. Evan Courtney, Family Life Pastor and Communications Director at The Fields Church, provides the following list of website must haves for would be first-timer guests: What does the pastor look like? What size of church is it? What do I wear? What happens in a service? Will I be asked to give money? What do my kids do? How do I get to your church? So What? Most first impressions are virtual. Read More …

Bible Belt Too Tight?

Peace Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Clemson, SC is a new church with a creative marketing campaign designed to share the congregation's progressive form of Christianity, including their extravagant and inclusive welcoming mentality, with their community.  The effort includes "a series of 10 catchy, thought-provoking posters lifting up the church’s commitment to re-imagine faith, justice and mission." So What? The United Church of Christ's decade old Still Speaking Read More …

Review of Winning the Story Wars

Meet the Author Jonah Sachs, cofounder and CEO of Free Range Studios, is an internationally recognized storyteller, author, designer and entrepreneur.  His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Sundance Film Festival, NPR, The Colbert Report, and in FastCompany Magazine, which named him one of the 50 most influential social innovators. Book Basics During the broadcast era a relatively small group of people could control the message about a Read More …