Church marketing

by Richard on January 13, 2009

There’s a worthwhile article over at Christianity Today. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson argues with the conflation of evangelism and marketing in Jesus is not a brand.

The difficulty with the pro-marketing arguments, however, is the failure to recognize that marketing is not a values-neutral language. Marketing unavoidably changes the message—as all media do. Why? Because marketing is the particular vernacular of a consumerist society in which everything has a price tag. To market something is therefore to effectively make it into a branded product to be consumed.

That’s a particularly provocative quote from a long article - you really need to read the whole thing. Of course, not everyone will agree with him. The folk at ChurchMarketingSucks certainly don’t, and they’ve responded with their take on what’s wrong with the article

We can’t help but look at Christ as a consumer option; there is such a high price for a life with Him. Each church must communicate that it has a greater value on Sunday mornings than sleeping in. It has to communicate that being a member of their body is more valuable than chasing the pleasures of the world. Going to church on Sunday morning is a consumer option just like sleeping in or going out to breakfast

My take on this will have to wait - a busy day ahead…

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }


Kim 01.13.09 at 10:06 pm

ChurchMarketingSucks - are we supposed to be impressed by the reverse psychology of the blogbrand? Behold the triumph of Christianity lite!

Tyler Wigg-Stevenson’s critique hits most of the fish in the barrel, but although his gospel is certainly much weightier than the marketeers, and makes counter-cultural moves away from the narcissim implicit in Jesus as the answer to all my questions and the fulfiller of all my needs, I still miss any deep recognition that, as one character says in a Flannery O’Connor story, “even the mercy of the Lord burns”, or that, as O’Connor herself wrote in a letter (pace John Wesley’s heart!), “Grace is never received warmly. Always a recoil.” Nevertheless, a welcome contribution to exposing the powers that masquerade as evangelists.


DH 03.05.09 at 9:16 pm

Here is another take on being the “salt of the earth”. It is also “Christian Marketing” as well. Allbeit for Christian charities but marketing nonetheless. What do you all think?

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