My Money Well Spent (part 2)

A friend posed a great question to my previous post. He asked, "Can we put a price tag on how much should be spent to encourage someone to visit our churches? If so, then how much should be the limit?"

Let me answer that question in layers. First of all I am under the belief that little or no money should be spent for the lone purpose of getting people to visit a particular church. Would you offer someone $20 out of your pocket to visit your church? Probably not. So why do churches. Sure, they may not be giving money away at the door but they sure spend it like they are.

I don't think it's the church's responsibility to advertise and try to get "customers" in the door like some big department store. So how do we get new people to check out our church? That is what the church members are for. I see it like this, a church's regular attendees are there for two reasons 1) their own personal spiritual growth 2) being the hands and feet of Jesus to the world outside their church which includes service and inviting their hurting friends (hurting as in emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually) to their or any other church so that they may find what is needed for their lives. Basically, if a church's attendees were doing their job, there would be no need for mass advertising campaigns.

But then that brings up the question of "What is considered advertising or visitor targeting money"? Can a nice sign outside your church be considered money only for visitors? How about a fancy web site? I could sit here and nit-pick all day over what is or isn't advertising to reach visitors so I'll stop there. Every church has to have the basics to, a) catch a visitors eye and, b) keep them coming back. Those things may be a nice sign or web site. They may be comfortable chairs or a warm and welcoming atmosphere. But should a church be sending out 10,000 mailers a week letting people know about their church? No. Unless....

.....The point you are trying to make through your "advertising" isn't, "let's get more butts in the seats" but a serious community need that your church is meeting. For example. If your church starts a food bank, then you'd want to advertise that to any person or family that may be in need of food. Is your goal to get them to your church, not exactly. Your goal is to meet their physical need first, then that will open the door to any spiritual need they may have. Sound familiar? It should. That's what Jesus did everyday of his ministry. He always met physical/emotional/mental needs first, then spiritual.

I love what "Mosaic" church in LA does. They refuse to put the word "church" on anything about themselves. They simply call themselves "Mosaic". The pastor said if the community of LA wants to call them a church, then great, but he doesn't want to be the one that defines what they are. What a novel idea, letting others define what you are versus telling them what you are suppose to be.

I know that is a really long answer to simply say this: If we as followers of Jesus were doing what we are called to do (reach out) then there would be no need to spend $4500 on a cool ad campaign or $20 on a newspaper ad. If we aren't getting the word out about Jesus and the church ourselves, why should we expect our churches too?


Jason said…
Very good answer. If this were myspace I would award you 2 props. I think I would be interested in visiting this "Mosaic"

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