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Marketing the Gospel 2: Your Objective and Strategy

Marketing the Gospel Day2: Your Objective and Strategy

“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:24-26, ESV)

I was having a conversation with a friend recently in which I was explaining why I thought marketing was important in the local church. It seems strange but I honestly believe that both in the local church and in our personal life we are missing key elements to running a successful campaign for the gospel. In marketing, there are a few different strategies and objectives to reaching your audience, or target market as we discussed yesterday, and getting them to engage with and purchase what you’re offering. You can create a campaign to spread awareness of your brand, get people to go to your store or website, or encourage them to buy now. The most successful campaigns are a combination of all these things, but first you have to define your objective.

The objective of a campaign can be any number of things, but when it comes to the gospel, the goal is always the same: point them to Christ. We are not responsible for saving a person. In fact, we aren’t even capable of saving them. Our goal is to teach someone of their sin and the Savior. We are meant to tell them that we are all in desperate need of redemption and that Christ alone has paid the debt. Once we have shared the gospel, it is in the Lord’s hands. He troubles the soul and stirs the heart. We are also not meant to cure them first. Just like Christ, we are called to meet people where they are and share the good news. We cannot start the work we are called to by trying to fix bad habits or addictions and then share the gospel. Salvation comes first; the rest of the work is to follow.

Now that we understand the objective of our gospel campaign, what’s our strategy? How are we going to reach our target market? Just like in business, there are so many different ways to share the gospel. In business, we can put ads in print media, use social media ads, put up billboards, send emails, offer discounts, and more! It’s very similar when it comes to the gospel. In a local church, a website and a social media presence is a great place to start! It is rare these days that people walk into a church without previously checking it out. I mean, what if it’s a cult, right? People want to know that you’re trustworthy, so give them an easy way to see that you are. Tell them about the gospel you preach and the services you offer. Share verses and words of encouragement. Let them feel warm and welcome before they even enter the door.

Build trust in your community. People are more willing to come to events like gospel services or Sunday School when they know who you are, so let them see your smiling faces out in the community. It may be shocking to hear, but not every gospel outreach must require a gospel sermon. Host community dinners, tutoring services, babysitting nights, festivals and more. Think about how Jesus lived. He dined with tax collectors and publicans, sharing a meal with them. And while I’m sure it was a relaxed and sociable setting, there were countless times when He shared the good news as they sat together. He made everyone feel wanted and welcome in His presence. If there is a way to show the people around you that you genuinely care for them, do it. You’ll be amazed at how effortlessly conversations in these situations can turn to the gospel.

You may not actively acknowledge it, but you shop where you shop because you trust the business. You shop at Walmart and Target because they are household names and they feel familiar and safe. You go to your favorite restaurant because you saw an advertisement once or a friend recommended it and now you make regular appearances. Sometimes the advertisements or encouragements to shop at a certain business are subtle, but their campaigns work together to ultimately get you to know them, trust them, and buy what they’re selling. When the community sees your local church as a familiar face and a place to feel loved, they are more willing to attend services. 

My challenge for you is to find ways in your own life that you can reach out to your community, whether through your personal connections or your local church. Brainstorm ways that you can reach out to your community with members of your church and help toward that goal. Ask the Lord to stir up a desire in your own heart and in the hearts of the local church to start new outreach efforts. Take the first step toward sharing the gospel with your community.

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