Does your church let money make your decisions? Does your church let money determine what kind and how much outreach you do? Really?
Alright, Just Say It
There are three things that tend to keep churches from marketing themselves online:
- They don’t see a need or don’t think it will work. If you’re reading this post, then this probably doesn’t describe you. If it does describe you and you happen to be reading this, then take a few minutes to read some of the other posts in this blog and perhaps you’ll reconsider.
- They think church marketing is evil. Well, maybe not evil, but misleading or deceptive. Read: “Is Church Marketing Evil”.
- They don’t want to spend the money. “It won’t fit into the budget” or “That money could be used for a ministry.”
One Of The Most Feared Words In The Church
I think I’ve already addressed the first two issues listed above in various ways throughout this blog, so I’m not going to address them here. That leaves us with money – one of the most feared words in the church. Interestingly enough, most churches are afraid to ask for money or do things that would make money, but then in the board meetings it’s money that often determines what is or (more often) isn’t done, especially when it comes to church marketing.
The Stark Truth
Money buys land, builds sanctuaries, provides music and audio/video equipment, and helps your pastor feed his family. Most churches get most of their money from tithes. Tithes come from church members. So…more church members usually equates to more money. Church marketing (done right) leads to more church members.
Do The Math
So, if one of the most common causes of churches deciding not to do church marketing is money, yet church marketing brings in more members (and thus more tithes), you can see how these two things contradict one another. Let’s crunch some numbers:
The average American family has a house hold income is just over $50,000 per year according to the US census department. A ten percent tithe would be $5000 per year which would be $416 a month.
- Even if you know nothing about search engine optimization (SEO) your church can get its website optimized for less than $100 a month. I’m not trying to promote my company’s SEO services, but if you need proof it can be this affordably here it is (Top Church Search Rankings service) Optimized, your church site comes up in the first results when people search for churches in your area and you got one new tithing family to join the church, that family would not only tithe enough to pay for the SEO service, but you would have $316 more each month than if you had not gotten the service and that family had not joined your church. That’s one family.
- If your church creates an Adwords account and bids on church related keywords for the church’s city and surrounding areas. Most of the time the cost of the Adwords account will be around $50 a month. In this case, that one tithing family pays for the Adwords and there is $366 left over.
If you do both services, that one family’s tithes pay for both services and there is $266 left over that can go towards the other ministries of the church. This is based on only 1 family coming to the church over the course a full year. Of course, if more families find your church and become members, then all their tithes are able to be solely devoted to other various ministries of the church.
It’s The Opposite Of What You May Be Thinking
So, despite the fact that it may look like the church can’t afford marketing, I would argue that the church can’t afford NOT to do this kind of marketing (sorry about the double negative:). By properly marketing the church, it will bring in more people to the church which will more than pay for the marketing and allow your church to do more.
Final Thoughts Before The Hate Mail
Before you go nuts telling me how I’m too money focused, let me say one more thing. I don’t care about the money. I attend a church where one of our stated tenants is that we do not run the church by the budget. We believe if the Lord wants us to do something, then He will also provide the means. And in ten years, He hasn’t failed us (He never will). I also believe that church marketing is a ministry. It’s an outreach to the unchurched and service to help people find a church. I think the excuse of not having the money in the budget is a faulty excuse. And I believe not marketing the church is missing out on a ministry opportunity.
Let the hate mail ensue…What do you think?
Kurt Steinbrueck is a Deacon at his church and has been Director of Marketing Services with Ourchurch.Com for over 5 years providing Christian search engine optimization services including a service specific for church marketing, the Top Church Search Rankings service, a church search engine optimization service. Please contact Kurt at OurChurch.Com if you would be interested in getting better rankings for your church in the search engines.