Church Marketing. What does that even mean? While it might sound cool and modern, some might find it offensive and contrary to what the church stands for.

Our team here at d2design talks to many pastors each week about our print marketing services. Almost daily, we get a response from a pastor or staff member that is something along the lines of: “We don’t believe in church marketing.”

So, what exactly is church marketing? Why do some churches love it and others despise even the idea of it?

To help, I’ve come up with a definition and explanation:

Church marketing is a way to get the word out about a church to the community, and churches of all denominations and sizes use it. Examples of church marketing include, but are not limited to: direct mail, social media, TV ads, radio ads, billboards, banners, and Web sites.

Church marketing IS NOT marketing or twisting the Gospel to make it appealing to the unchurched.

I think some churches don’t like the term “church marketing” because they have seen a growth in seeker-sensitive churches using it to make themselves more appealing to the community. Some might assume that these churches are more interested in growing their attendance rather than growing and multiplying disciples.

Before we assume that churches who use marketing are out for the money and numbers-only growth, let’s take a look our current culture. People love marketing. People response to marketing. If used correctly, marketing is a great way to spread the word about pretty much anything. Specifically for a church, you have the potential to reach people who might just be too shy to walk through your doors to ask questions.

Yes, church marketing can be used selfishly, but at its core, it’s a useful tool for churches of all sizes to reach out to their community. Used wisely, churches can communicate who they are to complete strangers without offending them or invading their personal space.

What is church marketing to you? Does your church resist any type of marketing? Or does your church use marketing avenues as well?