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The Best Church Marketing Methods

by Greg Baker  
10/09/2010 / Church Life

Listed below are various church marketing techniques and their effectiveness. The following results are taken from a single church and are not considered to be definitive. The aim here is to help other churches and pastors grow their church.

The following list is from least effective to most effective in building the church. I have ranked each section from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).


Effectiveness (1): As a tool to grow your church, tracts are the least effective. In nearly 12 years of pastoring, I've had a total of 2 families visit our church because of just a tract. As a means of spreading the gospel, they are much more effective. There is no doubt that getting out the Gospel is important, and tracts are a good means of doing so, but as far as growing the church, they are not very effective.

Space and Content (3): A tract has very limited space, usually designed to fit in shirt pocket. They give a Gospel message and usually a small space for the name of the church and service times.

Expense (3): A quality tract with good content, design, color, and layout will usually run you around 10 cents a piece if you order around 10,000 or so.


Effectiveness (2): A local church website is effective only to those who are already looking for a church. Most would have already looked in the phone book first, and the rest would have discovered your website address from some other source of marketing. A website is wonderful at keeping members up to date and providing lots of information. But as far as building your church, you will only reach those who are already looking or who have already heard of your church.

Space and Content (10): A website, obviously, provides nearly unlimited space to get your message across. You can have all the various content you desire in whatever space you wish.

Expense (8): The right hosting is important. But a good host will cost as little as $3.00 a month. Not very expensive if you have the right people to design and operate the website for you.


Effectiveness (2): The only reason this beats out the website is because people who are looking for a church usually go to the phone book first. This is changing, however. Most people who come because of a phone book ad are already looking for a church and are already a Christian. A bit more effective may be a phone book ad that advertized free marital counseling. That will usually generate more contacts than your church ad will.

Space and Content (3): You can get full page ads, for a lot of money, but in general, you are limited in space and the content.

Expense (4): You can pay for an ad in one payment or even make monthly payments. They can be costly.


Effectiveness (3): Newspaper ads can reach a lot of people quickly. But a simple ad will only build name recognition. Having a weekly or monthly column will be much more effective. Give people some something solid, meet a need, and you will generate a response.

Space and Content (3): This can be very limited. Newspaper space is at a premium and will cost you to have your ad placed in a prominent location. A column will give you more space, but could be buried in the religious section where only religious people go to read.

Expense (3): It is off of your ad space that newspapers generally make their money. Any newspaper ad can be very expensive. Some papers, however, will print a small ad about your special event for free as a community service.


Effectiveness (4): A voice is often a more powerful draw than print. Hearing someone speak can often focus a person on what you say. In our society today, people like to surround themselves with noise. So when they are in their car, they often listen to something. Often, however, a radio ad needs to be listened to multiple times before the message will sink in. This can be a negative if your budget is limited.

Space and Content (4): You only have so many seconds to get your message across. Still, this is rated as high as it is because a voice is often more powerful to people than print.

Expense (2): Radio ads can be very, very expensive.


Effectiveness (5): Flyers are more effective in building a ministry than tracts, because they often try to pull people directly into your church. Depending on the number of flyers you hand out and for what purpose, there will usually be some sort of response from flyers. If you offer something free (food, gift, or activity) you will generate much more interest than a tract will.

Space and Content (5): Flyers usually have more space than tracts, but they are still limited in what you can say. Adding a picture, for example, will take up a good portion of your flyer and further limit your message. But with flyers you can afford to be more targeted. You can promote a particular big day or special event.

Expense (5): Your cost will depend on how extravagant you go. Color and content is the key to a good flyer. Flyers could range between 3 cents a copy to 25 cents a copy (or more).


Effectiveness (9): Our newspaper ministry has been one of the most powerful things we have ever done! We highly recommend this! We print 10,000 copies of an 8 page paper that we distribute 4 times a year. Every issue generates visitors, phone calls, and the spreading of the gospel!

Space and Content (10): A newspaper of your very own means you are in control of the space and content. Our newspaper seeks to help people in their marriage, give child rearing tips, helps people overcome difficulties, and gives the gospel! It is better than a flyer and tract and any other advertisement we have ever done!

Expense (10): We sell ad space to local businesses. For us, it is even a fundraiser. Not only do we raise enough money to pay for the paper in its entirety, we usually net around a $1,000 per issue.

We get our newspaper printed by Check them out. You will not regret it!


Effectiveness (10): Nothing beats a personal endorsement from a trusted friends or relative. Personal contact is always the best way to promote your church.

Space and Content (5): This is rated so low because you cannot control what other people say to other people about your church. It is possible to give false expectations accidently.

Expense (10): It costs nothing!

ONE ON ONE (Visitation / Soul Winning)

Effectiveness (10): Statistics prove that following the Biblical model of going door to door and talking face to face with people is the best means of building a church. Couple this with a newspaper that you can hand to someone and it becomes an incredible means of bringing in converts to your church.

Space and Content (7): This is limited to the training that your people have and how many you have doing it. It also takes time. But even if a new convert merely gives his personal testimony, it is a powerful inducement to those who are looking for something better in life.

Expense (4): The expense here is not in money so much as it is in time, training, and volunteers. It often takes a lot of effort, sometimes, to convince your members that they need to be actively giving out the gospel and then finding the time to train them to do so. It is necessaryevery Christian ought to be telling others of Jesus! It just takes a lot of effort sometimes.


For our church, we couple the last three together. It has brought many, many visitors into our church and resulted in many people coming to know Jesus Christ, baptisms, and so forth. As far as marketing goes, this has been the most effective for us. Producing your own newspaper that gives people a taste of your church along with that one on one contact is an incredible way to introduce your church to your community.

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