Bad Marketing Options for Church Planters

If only planting a church was as easy as getting people to eat cookies. Everybody loves cookies. Whether covered in frosting or crafted gluten-free, they’re impossible to pass up. But they are bad news for church planters. That’s because cookies don’t bend! They break. They’re not designed to be flexible. They’re designed to be delicious. But church planters need to be able to flex without breaking. (Being delicious is a bonus. Grrrrowl.)

Why Cookies Are Bad for Church Planters

Bad marketing options for church planters

You’re a church planter. You’ve got great hopes, great plans, great training and great conviction for your church plant. But how do you articulate all of this to real people so their eyes don’t glaze over? And how do you get all that info everywhere it needs to be (from website to supporter meetings)?

With all of your to-do’s, a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all “marketing kit in a box” sounds tempting. I get it. (Who doesn’t love cookies?)

Church-in-a-box packaged solutions abound. Some of them are fantastic, like the ones containing everything you need to setup a mobile church in a school or rented space. While that may work great for setup and take down, it falls woefully short for the branding, messaging and technical tasks you must tackle in the early stages of your church plant.

1. They assume a purely attractional model of marketing the church.

Nothing wrong with the attractional model, but many church planters like yourself are called to plant something different. It’s not that you don’t want to attract people, but the way you’re called to go about it doesn’t look much like the polished, schmaltzy, cookie-cutter options out there.

2. They are born out of large-church contexts, not church plants.

Many cookie-cutter approaches can be tied back to someone who is associated with a large church, not a church plant. Large churches are great, but they don’t reflect your reality. So neither should your messaging, branding and technical solutions. Sure, you may have similar needs (brand, logo, website, etc.), but you need an authentic solution.

3. They struggle to flex…and flexing is the name of the game for the early stages of your church plant.

Cookies don’t bend. They break. From the early days of planning and planting your church, you need a script to work from, not a pre-fab mold to stamp out sugar cookies with steeples. Cookie-cutter, pre-packaged solutions with 2 invite card designs,  4 Mailers,  2 Banners, and a 6-page Website are stale. You need a brand and message you can apply over and over. You can then determine what you need, when you need it, and how it fits.

4. They only cover one or two bases and leave the rest to you.

Most pre-packaged solutions only touch a piece of what you need for your brand, message, and technical tasks. They don’t offer a comprehensive plan. It’s either online marketing solutions (a website package for church plants, monthly social media artwork) or printed marketing materials (mailers, door hangers, signs). Your left to piecemeal several different prepackaged solutions to try and cover all your needs and hope it’s cohesive and effective.

The Kit: A Clear, Flexible Plan

I believe there is a far better way to help church planters with their branding, messaging and technical tasks. That’s why I created the Church Planter Starter Kit.

If you’re frustrated by the cookie-cutter approaches out there, and you’d love a script you could tailor to your context and needs, get the Church Planter Starter Kit.


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