Should the Church Advertise?
This is a question that I've thought about quite a bit lately and here's the answer I've come to: No.
- We aren't selling a product, why advertise like we're a business?
- It perpetuates the consumer mentality of the people in our congregations
- It's a waste of money
- It's usually done poorly
- It can communicate that it's about that particular church and not about God or the Church universal
The first two reasons are the biggest reasons why I don't think churches should advertise. We live in a culture where brand loyalty is at an all time high. Are you a Coke or Pepsi person? Mac or PC? Nike or Adidas? These divisions run deep.
We know we're being sold a product when we see an advertisement, why would it be any different when we see an advertisement for a church? Our thought process has been changed to think this way about all advertisements. So why would we perpetuate the cycle of consumerism in Christians? Why would we communicate this mindset to the non-Christians we are seeking to reach?
I know there are some of you who disagree with me on this, that's fine. I'd love to know why.
I just don't think that advertising is the way to spread the Gospel or even about your church. I think the best way to do this is through word of mouth, through building relationships with people in your community. Remember the Great Commission, go and make disciples? People make disciples, people spread the Gospel. People should be the ones spreading the word about your church, not a billboard, or a mailer, or a Facebook campaign.
Challenge the people in your congregation to reach out to their friends and neighbors. Use this as a way to challenge your congregation, to push them towards spiritual maturity.
Leave the advertisements to companies that sell products. Jesus isn't a product. Spread the Word, person to person.