Introduction to Evangelism Marketing Principles
Adventist churches grow differently. Our evangelism marketing needs to be different, too.
Adventist churches grow differently. The practical differences between many denominations are so small that members—and even clergy—can move between churches with little friction. That’s why a non-denominational church plant can do church with a little twist (Java Jireh coffee bar, anyone?), send out some postcards into the neighborhood, and quickly grow the congregation.
Seventh-day Adventists, however, are different. For us membership requires having a solid understanding of our fundamental beliefs. And because some of our fundamental beliefs require a substantial shift from commonly-held perspectives, that process takes time. So we need to be far more deliberate and intentional about how we bring in new members.
Imagine Tom and Sue, a couple in your community. They wake up one morning and say to each other, “Hey, we haven’t been to church in a while. We should go to church today!” What day is it? It’s Sunday, right?
We can’t just send out some postcards and invite people to church—because they’re more likely to show up on Sunday morning to the church that’s renting your building. We have to be far more deliberate about our marketing and evangelistic methods, because frankly, people have more mental distance to travel to join our movement.
Adventist churches grow differently.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing some specific marketing ideas that apply directly to Adventist evangelism. These ideas include:
- The Sales Funnel, which is a framework for splitting a “big ask” into smaller steps;
- the power of the Offer, and how it interacts with the Audience and the Creative to affect campaign results;
- Friction, and how to reduce it; and
- advertising frequency, comparing Burst Marketing to Continuous Marketing and Flash Marketing.
In this series, I’d like you to think about membership from a sales perspective. Our goal is to help people with no connection to our church become baptized members who are fully engaged in the life of the church. In a sense, we are “selling” membership. There may not be a monetary cost, but make no mistake, there is a cost—in time and mental effort. People have to study the Bible to become members. They have to change how they think about certain things. It’s hard work, because there’s a lot of cognitive dissonance along the way. Membership is a big ask.
What we’re talking about is what the business world calls a “long sales cycle.” Becoming a member of the Seventh-day Adventist church is not an impulse decision. Fortunately, there’s a tool that is particularly useful in a long sales cycle, and that’s called the Sales Funnel. That will be our first topic in the next article.