Here’s the abstract version of the US Report
There’s a trend spreading nationwide that involves the marketing of congregations. Now, the idea of “Marketing” a congregation is one that many people object to on the basis of misinformation. They look at the word marketing and automatically think in terms of people who are trying to pilfer and sell bills of goods to members. The exact opposite is the case here. In marketing, the local congregation has an opportunity to have their message at the forefront of their audiences mind. With the plurality of congregations who basically look the same on the outside, the proper exposure is important for congregations who want to present the truth.
Now, the concept of congregational strategic marketing involves defining the resources that are available to you and building a strong set of practices around those resources that will greatly enhance the percieved profile of your congregation.
There are a few necessities that every congregation should have in building this strategy;
Website – A web address is essential to todays congregation as many people look for congregations on the web. Consider looking into building a web presence, and notice the word presence, for the congregation. There are many open-source website platforms that are free to use and hosting is very reasonable for congregations.
In Part 2, I’ll provide actual examples of how to implement a marketing strategy at your local congregation.
Of late, I’ve been developing a system for managing the reporting of layby for our members.
The Layby Package [i’m just going to go with that name] is a really a set of database and merge document that allows a congregation to deliver to its members an overview of their giving, either quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.
The key to the whole package is the record keeping. At The Park [The Magnolia Park Church of Christ], the leadership was planning on implementing a giving campaign to coincide with the already existing building fund plan. The result was a system that was first implemented at the Hallandale Beach Church of Christ – the Victory Campaign. Their plan included a campaign brochure, a presentation, and a pledge card. For The Park, I designed a campaign folio, a presentation, a pledge card, a reminder card, as well as the quarterly statement which outlined each individuals giving for the quarter as well as where they stood in relation to their initial pledge.
Now, the Quarterly statement really began in December, 2007, as we were trying to roll out the official yearly statements for members. We decided that in addition to giving them the official statement with the church seal and everything, it would be nice to let each member see exactly what they gave each week. This, in turn, was well received, as many people were surprised to see the peaks and valleys in their giving throughout various times of the year. At the start of 2008 a decision was made that the initial statement would be developed further to include many elements that would be useful to the member. The Following were added for the first quarter statement:
In the Future, we look to build an internet application that shows the same information for each member.
What do you think? Is this something that you think your congregation could use? What, if any, layby reporting mechanisms do you use?
I had the opportunity today to put in some work on the projects I’ve been managing lately and I must say, I am excited to be working on them. It gives me a chance to both fine tune my design skills while also helping to develop my ability to problem-solve by way of solutions development.
Anyway, one of the pieces I’ve been working on has been a 4-up version of the song service planner, small enough to fit in a pocket.
Well, after nearly a month of trying to put the final touches on this guide, I am finally finished. I’ve decided to scrap a lot of the plans I had for the booklet in an effort to keep to the main point of the guide which is to simply serve as a springboard to further creativity.
The Booklet is broken into several parts, the location analysis, the ministry models, and tips for ministry. Over the coarse of the past month I have been looking at various projects to take on that will hopefully build upon the ideas of this booklet, but for now, I am simply happy to cross its completion off of my list of tasks.
As with everything else I produce, I hope it will be useful.